Police called as man threatens to burn a granny out of her home

A man waved a pitchfork and threatened to burn a granny out of her home before he set a Bull Terrier dog on a police officer who was bitten on the buttock, but the hound also attacked the defendant, a court has heard.

Robert Wayne McAllister (40), who had different addresses listed as in Cullybackey and also Beechwood Avenue in the Ballymena area, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.

A prosecutor said that at 9am on Friday August 4 last year police received a 999 call that McAllister had damaged a car and threatened to burn a neighbour out.

He then lifted a ladder from the neighbour’s house, claiming he was only borrowing it, before he arrived back carrying a pitchfork and accompanied by a dog.

The court was informed he pushed the pitchfork towards the neighbour’s door and she feared the glass would be smashed.

McAllister told the woman, who had two grandchildren in the house: “Don’t forget you have to live here”.

The woman felt “shaken up” and fled to a nearby house and McAllister threatened to burn her house down before kicking her car.

When police arrived, the defendant set a Bull Terrier dog on an officer, saying “Get him, get him”.

An officer was bitten on a buttock by the dog which then also bit McAllister.

At a previous court, a defence solicitor said his client’s conduct had been “shocking” and McAllister wished to profoundly apologise for what happened, “particularly to the elderly lady who lives next door to his mother”.

The lawyer told the court last year that the defendant, a former under-graduate, was under the influence of drugs on the date in question and had been attempting to withdraw from substances.

McAllister was in court in connection with charges of assault, assaults on police, resisting a police officer; criminal damage to a car and making a threat to damage a house.

He also pleaded guilty to incidents which happened in June last year at Antrim Area Hospital.

McAllister admitted charges of disorderly behaviour, two assaults on police and one charge of resisting one of the officers in the execution of her duty.

One officer was pushed and another was punched in the face.

At last year’s court, District Judge Peter King said the defendant’s behaviour had been “completely and utterly unacceptable”.

At Thursday’s sitting of Ballymena Court, the same judge sentenced McAllister to a five months jail term, suspended for 18 months; put him on probation for 18 months and issued a two-year restraining order banning him from harassing the neighbour.