Coleraine off-license staff left “traumatised” after dealing with “verbally abusive” customer

Off-license staff in Coleraine have been left “traumatised” by the abusive behaviour of an intoxicated man after they refused to sell him more alcohol.

Events unfolded when police were called to an incident at the Bushmills Road around half six at night on 15th September 2020.

Upon reaching the scene, officers reportedly found Sean Neill Philip Owens, 34, from Linenhall Street in Ballymena, “with a bottle of alcohol standing in the middle of the road…stopping cars”.

Mr Owens appeared yesterday [12/10/2020] in front of North Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Ballymena, charged with disorderly behaviour, pleading guilty to this accusation.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor, the defendant “initially refused to identify himself to police and…continued to be disorderly on the way to Coleraine Police Station… shouting and screaming in the police vehicle”.

Officers then interviewed the staff of the off license, who stated that Mr Owens got aggressive and “verbally abusive” after they refused to sell him more alcohol, given that he was already visibly intoxicated.

The Prosecution solicitor ended their case by saying that police were called as the defendant “posed a danger to both himself and other road users”.

In response to the charges, Defence Solicitor John Murphy said that, in addition to pleading guilty, his client wished to “apologise for his behaviour” and to the arresting officers, even though he “cannot remember much of the incident”.

Upon hearing that Mr Owens had no previous convictions, the presiding District Judge, Judge Peter King, imposed a £200 fine on him, with a six-month allowance for payment.

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