Motorist fled from police and ‘steered around band members

A motorist fled from police and “steered around” band members who were forming up in the middle of a road for a parade in Ballymena, a prosecutor told the town’s Magistrates Court.

Gary Adair (34), of Riverdale, Tullygarley, admitted failing to stop for police in the Meetinghouse Lane area of the town in August last year and a short time later he was disorderly in the Waveney Road area.

The prosecutor said that on August 22 last year police were carrying out “point duties” surrounding a “Royal Black band parade”.

She said police were doing traffic duties at Meetinghouse Lane and a band was “starting to form up, intending to walk in the direction of Castle Street”. The prosecutor said police then saw a car parked at the side of the road pointing towards the “parade”.

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A police officer recognised Adair and had a “summons” for service on him and approached him on foot.

The prosecutor said Adair then started driving towards police and the “parade”. The prosecutor said the police officer raised his right hand and signalled for Adair to stop as he was approaching the parade and the road was “now closed”.

The court was told the defendant drove past the officer, “appeared to slow down but didn’t come to a complete stop and continued to drive forward. Police shouted telling him to stop his vehicle, advising him that the road was closed but he continued to do so and shouted out his window ‘I’m not stopping’.”

The prosecutor said Adair was asked, for a third time, to stop but refused and “laughed out the window” and drove on, “steering his vehicle around the band members who were already in the middle of the road forming up for the return parade”.

Police put out a message to stop the defendant and at the Waveney Road area the same police officer then saw Adair at a red light in the same vehicle.

The defendant “hung out through the driver’s side window of his car and used obscenities towards the police officer”.

Later that evening Adair went to Ballymena Police Station asking to speak to the officer and when cautioned for disorderly behaviour he “started to argue”. When he left he made a gesture with his “middle finger” at the officer.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had previous dealings with the same police officer. He said Adair had a “negative attitude to the police”. The solicitor submitted incidents had happened “due to a bad relationship which has formed with him with one officer on the ground” but Adair had to “modify” his behaviour.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said Adair had been given a suspended sentence on July 15 last year for assaulting police but he then committed new offences around five weeks later. At court on Thursday the judge gave Adair a three months jail term and activated the suspended sentence of three months - making a total of six months in prison along with a £200 fine. Bail was fixed for appeal in the sum of £500.