A repeat offender with dozens of convictions for assaulting police has appeared in court after spitting at officers on New Year’s Eve.
Brendan Ivan Higgins (31), with an address at The Salvation Army hostel in Belfast, appeared at Laganside Magistrates' Court on Saturday charged with two counts of assault on police on December 31.
The court was told that Mr Higgins, who has learning difficulties, has 143 previous convictions of which 43 are for assaulting police. He had also just finished serving a suspended sentence for assault on police when the alleged offences took place.
Cops told the court they were called to a domestic incident at an address he shares with another man on New Year’s Eve and were speaking to him in the back of a police vehicle when the alleged attacks took place.
The court heard Mr Higgins became verbally abusive towards two officers before kicking them both and spitting on them.
Lawyers representing Mr Higgins said he lives with learning difficulties and had spent “many years” in Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim which provides support for adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues.
They added Mr Higgins had been drinking in Belfast on New Year’s Eve before returning to the address he shares with his partner and continuing to consume alcohol.
A row ensued during which Mr Higgins’ partner became locked out of his flat before the police were called, the court was told.
Lawyers for Mr Higgins said he was a “frequent visitor” to the courts and had a “long record” of calling emergency services whilst under the influence of alcohol and threatening to self-harm.
Mr Higgins, who’s partner watched on from the public gallery, was granted bail and ordered not to consume alcohol or enter licensed premises.