Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian bigot McFall who kicked officer and verbally abused hospital staff avoids prison

By Nevin Farrell

A man who made sectarian comments at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine on the Twelfth of July after being taken there by police because he suffered a fit while being arrested has been warned if he reoffends he could face five months in jail.

William McFall (23), from Mark Street in Portrush, had earlier threatened a PSNI officer, the court heard.

He told the policeman: "I will hit you so hard, I will knock your beard off," Coleraine Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

A prosecutor said at 6.35am on July 12 year police were called to Beresford Court in Coleraine following complaints about an ongoing party where they found McFall outside, bare-chested, being "loud, abusive and singing sectarian songs".

The defendant then "put two fingers in the air" and made various comments to police before kicking an officer on the shin.

McFall had limb restraints put on, but "appeared to suffer a fit" and was taken to Coleraine Hospital where his behaviour was described as "loud and abusive" and he was "making sectarian references and comments".

The court heard in February this year McFall had also been disorderly at the Causeway Hospital when he shouted and swore in front of staff and patients after he was allegedly assaulted earlier.

The previous evening he had kicked a fire door at the Simon Community hostel at Lodge Road in Coleraine, causing £255 damage.

Yesterday McFall was back in court for sentencing on charges including assaulting police, disorderly behaviour and resisting police.

District Judge Liam McNally noted there were two cases involving trouble at the Causeway Hospital.

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said that although the hospital cases were "simply verbal", they no doubt, "will have caused inconvenience and distress for some".

The lawyer said on both occasions his client had been heavily intoxicated, adding that he regretted his behaviour.

He said McFall had significant difficulties with cannabis and alcohol from an early age but was now engaging with addiction services and other health services.

Mr Rafferty said his client recently had a steel plate inserted in his head as a result of an assault.

Judge McNally said immediate custody would be justified but in the light of a pre-sentence report and the injury McFall sustained he was going to place him on probation for a year to deal with drugs/alcohol and anger management issues.

He deferred the rest of the sentence for a year and told the defendant that if he commits any new offences in that period, fails to satisfactorily complete his probation, or fails to pay back the compensation, he faces starting off with five months in jail.

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