A man who was appealing a conviction of assaulting and resisting police, has stormed from the dock, just minutes into the hearing due to “an overwhelming desire to get out of court”, which ultimately led to the case being abandoned.
Vincent Barlow (53) of Blunnick Road, Florencecourt was convicted of assaulting a police officer and resisting a second on 21 March 2016.
They had attended at his home to arrest him when the incident occurred.
Both charges were denied at Enniskillen Magistrates Court but Barlow was found guilty on both counts and fined a total of £400.
He immediately launched an appeal which was before Dungannon County Court.
Barlow had been seated in the public gallery when the case began, and when this was noticed by Judge Stephen Fowler he was ordered into the dock.
Barlow appeared reluctant, but made his way slowly to the dock using a walking aid. A custody officer sat beside him and the case proceeded.
One of the police officers opened his evidence by explaining how he had contacted Barlow prior to arrest, to say a child had made an allegation of assault in the Lisnaskea area. He advised Barlow not to go anywhere near the area in question. This was agreed and Barlow maintained he had not committed any offence.
The officer said around a week later he began making efforts for a voluntary attendance for interview, but at this point Barlow suddenly got to his feet in the dock.
Custody staff attempted to speak to him but he replied, “I’m not well. I’m getting out of here now.”
He pushed the custody officer aside, strode from the dock and made for the exit.
Judge Fowler noted what was occurring and said, “The appellant is required to face the court.”
But Barlow ignored this and when custody staff attempted to prevent him leaving, he told them, “Get out of my face.”
Judge Fowler ordered a short recess and told Barlow’s defence counsel to speak with him at once.
After around 15 minutes the court reconvened, and defence counsel said, “I’ve had a rather difficult consultation with my client who is extremely upset. He suffers from a number of significant emotional issues, and was overcome with an overwhelming desire to get out of court.”
He said in light of this Barlow had decided to accept the finding of the lower court.
Judge Fowler abandoned the appeal and affirmed the fines previously imposed.
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