Belfast Telegraph

Bizarre scenes in Northern Ireland court as assault case man claims he’s deaf-mute

By Staff Reporter

A man who claims to be deaf-mute, despite evidence disproving this, has been convicted of a brutal attack on police and custody staff - one of whom was bitten requiring hospital treatment and HIV tests.

Abraham Jakobovits is currently remanded in custody accused of burgling two churches.

Following arrest for these matters he was brought to Dungannon courthouse on December 22, violently turning on police and custody officers.

Previously, Dungannon Magistrates Court was told that Jakobovits (41), from Fortwilliam Gardens, Belfast, communicates by writing notes. But after hearing excerpts from police statements, the judge sitting that day decided the communication issues are "elective" and no assistance is required.

Despite this, at contest, the defence again put forward the deaf-mute claim, this time to a different judge. Seeking an adjournment for sign language assistance it was claimed Jakobovits "can't, not won't, communicate".

District Judge John Meehan heard Jakobovits was defined as an "elective mute", but to settle the issue, evidence was heard from police at the scene.

From the dock Jakobovits glared at the officer, writing notes to his defence.

The officer explained how Jakobovits had demanded his belt, but was told it was against procedures.

Irate, Jakobovits asked the officer: "When are you leaving?"

Told he would leave when his duties were completed, Jakobovits replied: "No - you will f*** off now."

The defence were adamant he didn't speak, but this was rejected by Judge Meehan.

At this, Jakobovits using a note, demanded to return to the cells. The defence told the court he had "voluntarily refused to participate further".

The contest proceeded, hearing from two custody officers.

The first, (Officer A) noted Jakobovits became agitated on being refused his belt. His anger was directed at police and custody staff attempted to defuse the situation.

Officer A said: "There was complete refusal to calm down. He spat on me and told me to 'f*** off'."

Jakobovits was restrained on the ground and, in the process of having handcuffs and limb restraints applied, bit Officer A on the arm and thumb.

Officer B was also assaulted in the struggle.

Jakobovits was placed in a cell, but removed the restraints, urinated on the floor the banged repeatedly on the cell door.

As well as being bitten twice, Officer A sustained a back injury. He was treated in hospital with anti-Tetanus and Hepatitis B injections and tested for HIV.

The defence continued to assert Jakobovits never spoke, however, Judge Meehan convicted on all charges.

Jailing Jakobovits for 10 months, the judge said: "He refused to speak, claiming to be mute. He most definitely can hear and speak.

"The contempt he displays is remarkable. He has played the justice system for his own ends."

Belfast Telegraph

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