26 May 2022

Former charity worker pushed female officer outside County Derry nightclub

The 31-year-old became aggressive outside a Magherafelt nightclub earlier this year.

Former charity worker pushed female officer outside County Derry nightclub

Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

A 31-year-old former charity worker pushed a police officer twice outside a Magherafelt nightclub after she requested he move out of her personal space, a court has heard.

Christopher Steele, with an address at Parklands, Antrim entered a guilty plea to a single charge of assault on police at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Police were dealing with an unrelated incident outside Secrets Nightclub in Magherafelt on January 29 2022 when the defendant approached a female officer aggressively.

After the officer requested that Steele remove himself from her 'personal space', he pushed her, causing her to stumble, before pushing her again, causing her to lose her footing.

After being arrested and taken to custody in Coleraine, the defendant made neither reply to nor apology for the offence.

Defence for Steele said he was 'aghast' to find himself in this situation and noted he had not been interviewed in relation to what was an 'absolute' offence.

They said the defendant works full time as a landscaper, and that he had previously worked for charitable organisations helping those with a learning disability.

The court heard how the incident had occurred during a period of 'unusual heavy intoxication' for Steele, who had recently received news that his grandfather was dying.

Counsel said the fact he had laid hands on a female officer caused him distress and that he was unlikely to trouble the court again.

Judge Dunlop fined the defendant £250 and imposed an offender's levy of £15.

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