A YOUNG Fintona man who assaulted and spat at police officers and medical staff during two drunken rampages has been jailed for seven months.
Michael McKernan, 21, of Legamaghery Road also urinated in a police cell, sang republican songs and called police officers, “RUC ba*****ds”.
At Omagh Magistrates Court, the District Judge Bernie Kelly suggested that McKernan had “an issue with anybody who goes out and earns a living and does their best by the community, because he does none of that.”
He was also disqualified for 15 months and fined £100 for driving while over the alcohol limit and driving a vehicle in dangerous condition. Around 5.30am on the morning of October 30 police stopped a vehicle driven by the defendant that had a tyre missing and another flat wheel as it travelled along the Doogary Road near Omagh.
McKernan was intoxicated and as he got out of the car he took a swig from a bottle of whiskey. The court was told he was aggressive and shouted, “RUC b*****ds, no wonder everybody hates the police.”
He then sang a republican song and threatened to blow up two police officers he called by name.
At the police station he spat at an officer, urinated on the floor of a cell and assaulted nine officers, including two who he bit on the hand and leg.
He did not cause major injury to any of the officers due to his slight build and they were wearing body armour.
Just over two months later, on the night of January 1 he was again highly intoxicated when he assaulted two paramedics as they treated him for a head wound in Fintona. He had to be restrained with leg restraints and handcuffs after being arrested as he spat and called officers “RUC b*****ds” and referred to the IRA.
In the hospital he attempted to bite a male police officer and spat saliva into the eye of a female officer. He was held down by police while he received nine stitches for the head would. He also spat in the mouth of a male police officer who vomited to remove the saliva from his throat.
In the cell of the police station he attempted to pull the stitches out of his head. The next day McKernan claimed he could not recall the events of the previous night.
‘NO RESPECT FOR ANYONE’
Defence solicitor Conor Sally pointed out that his client had no previous convictions but acknowledged he could not think of any more aggravating conditions. He added that the defendant has made enquiries about receiving counselling for his alcohol problem but could not go into treatment until the court procedure was completed.
Imposing the jail term, Judge Kelly said the McKernan was “spoilt and used to getting his own way.”
Addressing him, she said, “I can only guess where you get your information given the RUC did not exist when you were born. You have absolutely no right to assault paramedics and put hospital staff in a position of fear. You have no right to put patients, family members and distraught parents with sick children maybe even relatives of dying patients in that position. It is nothing to do with freeing Ireland. You have absolutely no respect for anyone.”