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Homeless Ballymena man jailed for smashing beer bottles and urinating in public

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The court heard that Dobie had started drinking heavily after receiving news about the death of a friend

The court heard that Dobie had started drinking heavily after receiving news about the death of a friend

The court heard that Dobie had started drinking heavily after receiving news about the death of a friend

A man living in bushes due to coronavirus symptoms has been jailed for smashing beer bottles and urinating in the street.

Zoltan Dobie also scraped a car as he walked through traffic in the centre of Ballymena, Co Antrim on Monday.

The 48-year-old, of no fixed abode, was given a three-month sentence after admitting disorderly behaviour, criminal damage and indecent behaviour.

Ballymena Magistrates' Court, sitting in Belfast, heard he had been spotted on Linenhall Street in the town, shouting and cursing as he drank bottles of beer.

Dobie was observed smashing the empty bottles and relieving himself while making his way along the road.

The owner of one car parked in the area returned to discover a number of scrapes to their vehicle.

A prosecution lawyer said: "(Following arrest) the defendant stated that he was homeless and had been living in bushes in Ballymena for the last three weeks."

Dobie had started drinking heavily after receiving news about the death of a friend, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine revealed his client previously lived in the United States, coming to Northern Ireland 10 years ago.

He met a lady in Carrickfergus, but when that relationship ended he moved to Ballymena, where "things took a turn for the worse".

Mr Ballentine added: "My client had accommodation, but developed symptoms of Covid-19 and had to remove himself from that address because he didn't want to infect others there.

"He was living rough, a friend passed away and he took to drink. He wholeheartedly apologises for his actions."

Imposing three months imprisonment for the disorderly behaviour and criminal damage, District Judge Mark Hamill also fined Dobie £100 for urinating in the street.

Belfast Telegraph