Northern Ireland news

Heroin addict who brandished syringes at police given suspended sentence

The court heard officers had to spray Connor Haughey with CS

A HEROIN addict who brandished syringes at police trying to arrest him has been given a three-month suspended prison sentence.

Officers had to spray Connor Haughey with CS during the encounter at his home in west Belfast, a judge was told.

The 27-year-old, with an address at HMP Maghaberry, admitted possessing Class A, B and C drugs, along with resisting police and assaulting a constable.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard officers attempted to detain him after arriving at his former residence on August 30, 2016.

"He approached police with two syringes, and CS spray was discharged to incapacitate him," a prosecution lawyer said.

Searches at that stage led to the recovery of heroin and cannabis. Diazepam was discovered on him in police custody.

Haughey was then taken to the Mater Hospital in north Belfast, spitting on a police officer's arm en route.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd described it as a "deeply unedifying episode" for which his client is genuinely sorry.

Passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne told the defendant: "The offences themselves are bad enough, but spitting on people, no matter what the reason, is disgusting, it's inexcusable."

However, Mr Browne said he was prepared to give Haughey a chance to deal with his problems.

Suspending the three-months imprisonment for 18 months, the judge explained: "He's got himself in a very dark hole, but he's trying to climb out of it."

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