Philip Owens, of Linehall Street Ballymena, has been ordered to pay £200 over a six-month period in after being charged with Disorderly Conduct following an incident which occurred on the Bushmills Road, Coleraine on 15th September 2020. District Judge Peter King had presided over the case in North Antrim Magistrate’s Court, which is presiding in Ballymena which was moved from Coleraine as a result of COVID-19. Mr Owens, 35, entered the Magistrate’s Court with a plea of guilty. Mr Owens’ solicitor, John Murphy said, ““I represent Mr Owens. He is pleading guilty. My client was drunk and cannot remember much of the incident. However, he wishes to apologies to the police officers.”
According to the Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor, the incident had occurred around “tea time” on the night in question, and continued in saying “When police officers arrived, they saw Mr Owens with a bottle of alcohol standing in the middle of the road and he was stopping cars from entering Bushmills Road. Officers spoke to a very highly intoxicated Mr Owens and removed him from the road. The defendant initially refused to identify himself to police and when arrested he continued to be disorderly on the way to Coleraine Police Station. This involved shouting and screaming in the police vehicle and constantly trying to get out. It did not involve any assault of the police officers. He calmed down when he reached the police station.” The Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor had further stated that the police had contacted the staff of the off licence on the Bushmills Road who further claimed that Mr Owens was verbally abusive and caused disturbance after the staff had refused to serve Mr Owens.
According to the Prosecution, Mr Owens had left the staff traumatised by the experience and that Mr Owens had left the off licence after making the staff feel “very intimated by him and were very upset.” After leaving the off licence, Mr Owens is stated to have gone onto the Bushmills Road and proceeded to cause further disturbance by standing in the middle of the road and causing vehicles along the road to come to a halt. The disturbance had resulted in the police being called to the scene more than fifteen minutes after the incident had occurred. The defendant initially refused to provide identification to the police and was taken to Coleraine Police Station.
The Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor had concluded their statement in saying that Mr Owens had “posed a danger to both himself and other road users.” Mr Owens’ solicitor, Mr Murphy, continued in saying “My client wishes to apologise for his behaviour.” District Judge Peter King had subsequently asked Mr Owens’ solicitor if Mr Owens had anything prior on his record, to which the Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor said, “Nothing recent on his file. No previous convictions.” The case was concluded at which time District Judge King said, “I impose a £200 fine with six months to pay. Do not let this happen again Mr Owens.”