Suspended jail term for man who smeared cow manure in police car

Court news
Court news

A farm worker who deliberately smeared cow manure from his boots onto the upholstery inside a police car has been given a suspended jail term.

Paul Baxter (35), whose address was given as Millbay Road, Islandmagee, but who is originally from Feystown Road near Glenarm, rubbed the muck onto the inside of the vehicle and also tried to kick the driver during an incident in February this year.

He was at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday for sentencing. He had previously pleaded guilty to on one charge of criminal damage to the police car and two charges of assaulting police officers.

A prosecution lawyer said the farmer was being transported to custody when he kicked out at the driver and “rubbed his dirty boots, covered in cow manure, on upholstery”.

Baxter was ordered by a judge to pay compensation of £55.20 for the cleaning of the police car.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said the assaults were ‘technical’ as the officers had apprehensions about being assaulted.

The lawyer said there had been an agreement between Baxter’s solicitor and police that a matter could be dealt with by arrangement and then on the day in question two police cars arrived. The barrister said Baxter’s subsequent actions were an expression of his anger to what had happened.

Baxter, who had a record, was given a three months jail term, suspended for a year.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the farmer’s attitude was “poor” towards police during the incident and that he had been “making himself very difficult”.

He told Baxter: “In future when you encounter the police your attitude has to be better.”