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Upperlands man accused police of ‘being in the pockets of Sinn Fein’

A man who believed police had “very much gone over the top” in the way they dealt with him during an incident in Magherafelt, has been fined a total of £300 with a £15 offender levy.

Twenty-two-year-old Ethan Nelson from Kilrea Road, Upperlands, admitted charges of disorderly behaviour and resisting police in the early hours of November 27 last year.

A charge of assaulting a police officer was withdrawn by the prosecution.

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Magherafelt Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday (April 20) that at 1.50am police were on foot patrol in Rainey Street carpark when the defendant came out of a nightclub towards police shouting and swearing .

Magherafelt Magistrates Court sits at Bishop Street courhouse in Derry / Londonderry.

Prosecuting counsel said Nelson stuck two fingers up and shouted at police that they were “in the pockets of Sinn Fein”. She said he also hit an officer on the back of the head knocking his cap off.

The lawyer said he continued to resist police and was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints and arrested to which he replied: “I did f*** all”.

Pleading for leniency, defence lawyer Liam McStay stressed the defendant has no record for public order offences.

Mr McStay said Nelson had come out of the nightclub with a group of friends and felt the police had over reacted in putting him on the ground, handcuffing him and applying leg restrains.

He said the defendant thought he was going to be dragged into a Land Rover and challenged the police.

Mr McStay said Nelson had suffered an injury to his knees as a result of the incident and couldn’t play football.

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