Bit police officer during street brawl

When police intervened in a street brawl a 34-year-old man clamped his teeth on the arm of an officer causing bleeding and swelling, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.


The wound became infected leading to the officer requiring antibiotics.

Jonathan Patrick Paul Mooney, Larchwood, Banbridge, was sentenced to three months in prison for assaulting the officer and ordered to pay him £300 compensation.

A concurrent three month term was imposed for a disorderly behaviour offence.

The court heard that at 1.10am on November 1 last year police were dealing with an unrelated matter outside the Coach in Church Square when the defendant ran across the road and struck another male with his closed fist.

Both of them fell to the ground and Mooney got the upper hand, hitting the other person twice on the face with a closed fist.

The defendant continued to roll towards the injured party and struck him on the temple causing a laceration.

Police then pulled him away and Mooney clamped down on an officer’s arm with his teeth.

The officer tried to release his arm but felt the defendant bite down harder and refuse to release his clamp on the arm.

When four police officers arrived they got Mooney away and he began a foul mouth diatribe.

The skin on the officer’s forearm had been broken and there was initial bleeding and swelling.

The wound later became infected.

A solicitor representing Mooney said he was aware this was a very serious matter and that he faced a custodial sentence.

She added that he would apologise to the court and in particular to the police officer.

The solicitor said that Mooney had a relevant significant record but had never been given the opportunity to engage with probation.

She suggested that might be the best approach to try and deal with her client’s temper issues and alcohol management.

District Judge, Rosalie Prytherch, said this was a very serious assault which was sustained and protracted and resulted in an officer left with his arm infected.

She added that it clearly passed the custody threshold and imposed immediate prison sentences.

As Mooney was being taken down to the cells his solicitor said that she had spoken to her client about this possibility and applied for bail to appeal against sentence

Mooney was released on his own bail of £500 pending appeal.