Man been in court 203 times

AN Omagh man who grabbed shoppers and shouted aggressively at them in a Coleraine shopping centre appeared in court on Wednesday - for the 203rd time.

Appearing before North Antrim Magistrates’ Court was Kieran Kelly of no fixed abode in Omagh.

The court heard that police were called to the Heatons store in Coleraine last Tuesday (August 9th) following reports that someone was causing a disturbance.

The court heard that Kelly was grabbing the arms of shoppers and shouting aggressively at them. He then made his way into the Tempest store before exiting onto Abbey Street where he grabbed a female by the arm and shouted at her.

He was then arrested by police and made no reply when cautioned.

District Judge Richard Wilson then pointed out that the defendant had already been in court 202 times before - and added that 39 of his convictions were for riotous or disorderly behaviour.

Defence solicitor for the 47-year-old said that her client had come to Coleraine for a shopping trip but had taken a considerable amount of alcohol during that time.

She said that he had taken a pain in his chest and was approaching members of the public for help and his “plea for help” was construed as aggression.

District Judge Wilson said that, given Kelly’s record, there was a “certain inevitability” about what would happen.

He asked Kelly why he had come to Coleraine to shop anyway.

“Are there no shops in Omagh?”

“No,” replied the defendant.

“Well, Omagh Chamber of Commerce might disagree with you,” replied Judge Wilson.

“You have graced most courtrooms in the province over the years. The maximum period is I can sentence you to is six months but I will take into account your early plea,” he said.

Kelly was sentenced to five months in jail.