Man fined for assault on police amid suicide fears

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A man who assaulted a police officer amid fears he was going to jump from a twelfth floor balcony has been fined £100.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Joseph McDowell had been suicidal when he went to an apartment block ledge on Saturday.

Police called to the Woodland House accommodation in Newtownabbey located the the 22-year-old in a communal area.

A prosecution lawyer said he was shouting and swearing, and had to be handcuffed after lunging at an officer.

McDowell, of Carmeen Drive in Newtownabbey, admitted assault on police.

Defence counsel Sean Mullan told the court his client had been drinking at a relative’s twelfth floor property.

“He was on the balcony, a phone call was made to police that he was going to jump off,” the barrister said. “He had been drinking beer and spirits, and feeling suicidal.”

Based on McDowell’s early plea of guilt, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled: “There will be a fine of £100.”