AN IRVINESTOWN teenager who stole drink from a local shop, ripped a hole in a prison van, and verbally abused and swung a brush handle at police has been sentenced to prison.
Patrick McMulkin (19) of Sallys Wood, Irvinestown appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday via videolink from Hydebank Prison, where he pleaded guilty to a number of charges relating to three separate incidents. These included theft, criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, possession of an offence weapon, assault on police, and resisting police.
The first charge, of criminal damage, related to an incident on January 14 this year, when McMulkin was being transported to Hydebank in a prison service van. During the journey, the prison officers could hear shouting in the back.
When they reached the prison, they discovered he had caused damage to the van’s seats, and there was a large hole in the van where he had ripped out a metal heater. The damage McMulkin caused was estimated to cost £156.
When police spoke to McMulkin the following month, he apologised and told them he was coming off drink and drugs at the time of the incident and couldn’t remember what happened.
The second set of charges related to an incident on January 27, when police were called to Beechlea Children’s Home in Enniskillen. When they arrived, there were a number of people present, including McMulkin, who lifted a long brush handle and began waving and swinging it at police.
When arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and put in the police car, he began banging his head of the car window. He also became verbally abusive to police, calling them “black bastards” and said “I hope you get blown up like Ronan Kerr.”
When taken into custody, McMulkin then spat at the station’s detention officer.
The final incident of theft happened on June 30 past. McMulkin entered the Spar supermarket on the Coa Road in Enniskillen and was seen taking two bottles of WKD drink from a multi-pack and Kopperberg cider, putting them in his trouser pockets.
When he was later interviewed and shown CCTV of the incident he told police he didn’t know why he had taken the items, and explained he had taken an excess of his medication that day.
Defence barrister Heather Phillips said McMulkin had a number of issues in this life, but said he had been turning his life around in recent times and was apologetic for his actions. She added he had been engaging well with state services, was dealing with his addictions, and was completing maths and horticulture courses in prison.
Ms Phillips explained while McMulkin, who had a number of previous convictions, had continued to reoffend, he had done so less frequently and was showing a more mature attitude. She said on January 14, when McMulkin had damaged the prison van, he had been dealing with the death of a friend.
With regard to the theft, Ms Phillips said he was deeply embarrassed and the offence was out of character for him. Finally, with regard the Beechlea incident, she said McMulkin accepted his actions were “nothing short of disgraceful” and had accepted his guilt from the outset.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would take McMulkin’s youth into account in sentencing, and said he hoped Ms McPhillips was right that he was maturing, adding he hoped the defendant could break out of the cycle of offending.
However, Judge Broderick said, given the nature of offences, he was satisfied the custody threshold had been reached. He sentenced him to a total of six months in prison for all of the offences.
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Posted: 9:09 am September 21, 2016