10 Aug 2022

Donegal man who spat blood over one police officer and headbutted another in Altnagelvin Hospital ordered to pay £1,000 compensation

A 22-year-old man who headbutted one police officer and spat blood at another has been ordered to pay each of them £500 in compensation. Damian Robert Finlay appeared in Derry Magistrates Court where he admitted two charges of assault on police and one charge of criminal damage that occurred on May 28. The court was told on that date, ambulance crews asked for police assistance as they were treating a man with a head injury. The court heard that upon arrival, police found the defendant ‘covered in blood’ and was refusing treatment. Police took Finlay to the hospital for treatment, and the court was told that while in the vehicle, the defendant kicked at the door continuously and then spat blood all around inside of the vehicle. The court head that while being led into the hospital, Finlay headbutted a police officer, after which limb restraints were applied. While in the treatment room, the defendant spat blood over a police officer. Defence barrister Stephen Chapman said it was ‘outrageous behaviour’ from a man who had ‘a significant record’. He said that Finlay had recently set up his own business and ‘things were looking up for him in that respect’. District Judge Barney McElholm said that spitting on another human being was both 'disgusting and dangerous' and said the officer in question ‘did not know what diseases you had’. Finlay was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for three years and ordered to pay the two officers £501 each in compensation.

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