Belfast Telegraph

Man's £300 bill for smearing police cells with excrement in 'cry for help'

File picture of police cells (Paul Faith/PA)
File picture of police cells (Paul Faith/PA)

By Alan Erwin

A man who smeared excrement over a police cell was trying to get attention for a broken wrist, a Belfast court has heard.

Gareth Wayne Shanley, 29, was fined £300 and ordered to pay towards the costs of cleaning the PSNI property.

Shanley, of Morven Park in Dundonald, east Belfast, pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

The city's Magistrates Court heard he had been arrested and brought into a custody suite for an unrelated matter on May 1 this year.

A prosecution lawyer said Shanley was put in a cell due to his behaviour.

He then smeared his excrement on the walls and floor, as well as urinating in the holding unit.

The cell subsequently had to undergo a professional deep cleaning.

Defence counsel Alan Blackburn told the court Shanley only committed the offence due to the pain he had been in.

"He was very robustly arrested by police," the barrister said.

"His wrist was broken, but this was not realised immediately.

"He sought to get help, was ignored, and the excrement was in the context of an attempt to try and get some notice taken."

Acording to Mr Blackburn a nurse who examined his client the next morning realised he was injured and arranged for him to be taken to hospital.

"This (criminal damage) would not have happened if he hadn't been in that sort of pain," he added.

Imposing the fine, District Judge Fiona Bagnall also ordered Shanley to pay £100 compensation.

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