Suspended term after attack on PSNI station

Newtownabbey PSNI Station.
Newtownabbey PSNI Station.

A man attacked a police station with tins of paint because he believed an officer had mocked him, a court heard today.

Robert Colgan was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence for dousing the sangar at the PSNI’s base in Newtownabbey.

The 29-year-old must also pay £250 compensation after admitting what his lawyer described as “outrageous behaviour”.

Colgan, of Tynan Drive in Monkstown, carried out the attack in the early hours of April 23 this year.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard a security guard spotted him and two others splattering the walls of the Shore Road station.

Objects were also thrown over the perimeter walls, causing damage to a car and the wing mirror of a PSNI vehicle.

When he was detained, Colgan’s hands and clothing were covered in paint.

The father-of-four pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal damage and a further charge of disorderly behaviour.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd told the court Colgan’s actions were fuelled by heavy drug abuse and grief after his mother and father both passed away.

“His perception, whether or not there’s any truth in it, was that an officer had been rude or mocked him in the aftermath of the death of his parents,” the barrister said.

“That’s the only description I can use to explain this outrageous episode of behaviour.”

After studying photographs of the damage, District Judge Nigel Broderick ruled that the offences warranted a custodial sentence.

He told Colgan: “There’s no excuse whatsoever, a lot of expense would have been incurred in mopping up the mess that you and two others caused.”

But recognising the mitigation, Mr Broderick decided to suspend the six-month jail term for two years.