Chef who bit PSNI officer escapes jail

Chef who bit PSNI officer escapes jail

A chef who bit a policewoman's leg and spat at band supporters during trouble in east Belfast must complete 240 hours community service, a judge has ordered.

James Davey was told to carry out the programme for offences committed during disorder following a Somme commemoration parade in July last year.

Davey, 22 and from Clandeboye Gardens, Belfast, pleaded guilty to doing a provocative act, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest.

He was arrested during disturbances in the Castlereagh Street, Albertbridge Road and Mountpottinger Road areas.

Four police officers suffered minor injuries as bottles, fireworks and other missiles were thrown from crowds gathered after the parade passed off largely peacefully.

Davey was not charged with any rioting offences.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard how he bit the officer's leg as he struggled during attempts to detain him.

He also spat at passers-by in the area for the parade, according to the prosecution.

Defence lawyer John O'Connor said his client had been drinking, after finishing work in a restaurant, at the time of the incident.

He was in a chef's uniform, clearly identified by the checkered trousers, and he was intoxicated, the barrister told the court.

Mr O'Connor stressed that Davey comes from a mixed religious background, with his family said to be extremely disappointed by his behaviour.

Passing sentence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall stated: "The overall context of this type of offence cannot be ignored, the impact it has had and is having on the community."

However, she decided not to impose a prison sentence due to Davey's early guilty plea, clear record and the reduced assault charge.

Judge Bagnall instead ordered him to complete 240 hours community service. She also directed that he must pay £150 compensation to the police officer.


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