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Jailed for spitting in officer's face and false paedophile allegations

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Imposing a total sentence of six months imprisonment, District Judge George Conner condemned Stewart's behaviour

Imposing a total sentence of six months imprisonment, District Judge George Conner condemned Stewart's behaviour

Imposing a total sentence of six months imprisonment, District Judge George Conner condemned Stewart's behaviour

A Belfast man who spat in a police officer's face and declared "He's got Covid now" has been jailed for six months.

Edward Stewart also subjected a gym user in the city to a campaign of false allegations about being a paedophile.

The 37-year-old admitted offences of assault on police, common assault, harassment and improper use of a public electronic communications network.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard police were called to Stewart's Utility Street hostel on July 19 this year amid reports he was trying to start fights with staff and other residents.

He gritted his teeth, squared up to an officer and pushed him before being restrained.

A prosecution lawyer submitted: "Once outside the defendant turned to face (another constable), spat directly in his face and said 'He's got Covid now'."

In a separate incident on April 4 last year Stewart entered Anytime Fitness at Great Victoria Street and accused a man inside of being a paedophile and having child porn on his computer.

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He also claimed the victim had been sacked from his previous employer due to these allegations.

At one point he went into a staff office to act in a "physically intimidating" way towards the other man, the court was told.

Defence barrister Sean Mullan revealed Stewart suffers from severe mental illness, including paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Counsel said: "He was leading a chaotic lifestyle and between addresses."

Imposing a total sentence of six months imprisonment, District Judge George Conner condemned Stewart's behaviour.


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