A JUDGE has noted an increasing number of cases coming to court in which defendants deliberately foul police cells – usually by urination – following arrest.
District Judge John Meehan made the comment as he dealt with a particularly severe case in which faeces were spread over the cell walls and door, describing this as “outrageous behaviour”.
Dungannon Magistrates Court heard the incident occurred following the recovery of drugs during a planned search in Fivemiletown on 22 November.
Police attended the then home of Dominic John McGoldrick (30) of Drumawill Gardens, Enniskillen, but currently in custody. A significant amount of cannabis was located on his person and another, smaller amount in his bedroom.
He was noted to be intoxicated and while being transported to custody following arrest, repeatedly spat in the police vehicle.
This was accompanied by verbal abuse and high aggression towards police.
Having been placed in a cell, McGoldrick urinated and defaecated on the floor, then spread the faeces around the walls and door. Meanwhile McGoldrick was interviewed, replying ‘no comment’ to all questions put to him.
He later admitted possessing drugs and causing damage to the police car and custody cell.
A defence lawyer told the court, “There is no denying the horrific nature of these crimes. It must also be accepted my client has a terrible record. It is hard to reconcile his personality when he is drunk and when he is in sobriety.”
However Judge Meehan said, “Much is attributed to alcohol and drugs consumption. Not much is alluded to in respect of urinating and smearing the cell walls with faeces. In my practicing career a really cannot recall such instances but they are becoming a good deal more routine now.”
He continued, “It must be asked, if such activity is not done under the influence of drink or drugs, is it done at all?
“There seems to be an attitude of ‘I’ve been arrested. I may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb so I’ll just foul the cell. It simply won’t do to get behind the intoxication defence.”
Addressing McGoldrick directly, the judge said, “This was outrageous behaviour in which I discern little remorse.”
Along with the drugs matters Judge Meehan imposed a prison sentence of eight months and ordered the seized drugs to be destroyed.
Posted: 9:52 am January 1, 2019