Wheelchair user who hit officer avoids jail
A motorised wheelchair user convicted of assaulting a policeman by ramming him at a loyalist protest in north Belfast has received a four-month suspended jail sentence.
Samuel Baxter was also ordered to pay £400 compensation to the officer for trapping his leg against a Land Rover.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the 53-year-old became angry and hostile at being denied access through security lines on Twaddell Avenue. Baxter, of Canmore Close in the city, was also found guilty of disorderly behaviour during one of the nightly demonstrations staged in the area.
At last month's contested hearing, police witnesses said he had repeatedly directed a wheelchair weighing up to 28 stone at them on January 23. One constable suffered bruising to his shin in the incident.
Baxter claimed he was only in the area for family reasons and had no involvement in protests being staged over a disputed Orange Order parade.