A man accused of assaulting police officers after they attended a 60th birthday party that was in breach of Covid regulations has been granted bail.
Kevin Brady, 38, of Ballymagowan Avenue, faces charges of assaulting two police officers and resisting police on October 18, 2020.
Objecting to bail a police officer said the defendant was subject to a suspended prison sentence and he has ‘no respect for the law or courts’.
The court heard he was ‘abusive to police’ when officers attended the scene of a 60th birthday party that was in breach of Covid regulations.
Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said it was Brady’s mother-in-law’s birthday and family members were in attendance.
He added that Brady ‘kicked off’ and he and his wife came off the worst as they were both pepper-sprayed along with his brother-in-law.
The charges will be ‘strenuously contested’, Mr MacDermott said.
He questioned the legality of police entering the back yard of the property and said complaints will be submitted to the police ombudsman about their behaviour on the night.
The court was told that the only reason the defendant was kept in overnight was because he has a suspended prison sentence.
Mr MacDermott argued that the presumption of innocence ‘would outweigh that’ point.
The defence solicitor accepted that there is ‘no doubt’ the family broke Covid rules but the defendant has not been charged with that and no fixed penalty was served on the owners of the house.
The matter will take a while to go to trial, he said, and police are able to monitor Brady’s movements if he’s released on bail.
District Judge Barney McElholm said it’s ‘no surprise’ that Brady has no regard for the court.
Addressing the breach of Covid regulations, he added: “There are many who believe serious breaches of Covid regulations should be met with an immediate custodial sentence.
“The government would have to legislate for that and they haven’t.
“It’s clear to me as a casual observer, well not a disinterested one given my age, that these gatherings of family and friends are far and away the greatest cause of spreading this virus.
“We went from being one of the lowest in the world to practically the highest, if not the highest.
“Something has to be done but without legislation with some teeth we are where we are.”
The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 with conditions stating that he must not consume alcohol and submit to a preliminary breath test if required.
Judge McElholm warned the defendant that his patience may wear thin if there is any repeat of this type of behaviour.
He reiterated: “If the government want people to abide by these rules they need to put some teeth behind the legislation.”
Brady will appear before the court again on November 12.
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