Belfast Telegraph

'Expensive night out' ends in fines for man who tried to attack police

William James Brown was fined a total of £600.
William James Brown was fined a total of £600.

By Alan Erwin

A man who threatened violence against ambulance staff trying to treat him for a head injury in Belfast has avoided prison.

William James Brown was instead fined a total of £600 for a drunken outburst of aggression which also involved throwing punches and kicks at police called to the scene.

District Judge Peter Magill told the 55-year-old: "It will be a very expensive night out for you."

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard Brown, of North Howard Court, was being treated in an ambulance for an alcohol-related head injury on June 21.

Paramedics flagged down police on patrol at the scene in the Sydney Street West area.

A prosecution lawyer said they wanted the defendant removed because he was being aggressive and threatening violence.

Brown was given the opportunity to leave the ambulance and be taken to hospital by others, but turned on police outside.

He had to be restrained on the ground, the court was told, after throwing punches and kicks.

Although he did not make contact with any paramedics, they were said to have feared he would strike them.

During interview Brown said he could not remember the incident due to the amount of drink taken.

He pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, three counts of assault on police and two common assaults.

Defence counsel said his client had sustained injuries to his head and nose on the night.

"He's embarrassed and offers his apologies," the lawyer added.

Turning to Brown, Mr Magill said: "It's completely unacceptable behaviour, clearly what happened here is you got full and lost the run of yourself.

"Anybody who gets involved in threats or violence towards emergency service personnel, or who assaults police, is standing at the door of the jail."

It was only the defendant's guilty plea that was sparing him from imprisonment, the judge explained.

Imposing the fines instead, he added: "I'm hoping this was just a one-off."

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