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Newry and Mourne Councillor Convicted of Assaulting a Female Police Officer

Henry Reilly, 62, of Ballynahatten Road in Kilkeel, is an Independent Unionist Councillor on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has been convicted of assaulting a female police officer.

Mr Reilly was convicted of two counts of assaulting a female police officer at his home in September 2019.

He was also convicted of resisting two police officers in the execution of their duties.

Mr Reilly was fined £250 in respect of each charge. Banbridge Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Newry, heard that on 30 September 2019 police received two calls relating to an alleged domestic incident at Mr Reilly’s home.

Two police officers spoke to Mr Reilly’s wife at the front door at about 01:00. She told them no complaint was being made and allowed them into the house.

The officers then woke Mr Reilly, who was asleep on a settee. He had drunk four beers and had taken some sleeping tablets and antibiotics.

Mr Reilly moved into the kitchen to get a glass of water.

The police officers told him that due to the nature of the initial complaint he would have to leave the house for the evening, which he was unwilling to do.

Mr Reilly’s wife and daughter had been asked to remain in a different room, but on a number of occasions his daughter was said to have entered the kitchen.

The court heard that the female police officer then removed her from the kitchen and closed the door.

District Judge Eamonn King said that at this point “all hell broke loose”.

The police officers stated that Mr Reilly grabbed the female officer by the back of the head and attempted to pull her head downwards.

The court heard that in the “melee” that followed, Mr Reilly was kicked in the stomach and hit a number of times by the other police officer’s baton.

He was handcuffed on the floor of his living room. It was during this period that the second assault took place when Mr Reilly grabbed the female officer by the leg.

He was then taken to Musgrave Station in Belfast. After medical examination it was found that he had two fractures to his hand.

The judge said: “It’s a tragedy really that a man of 60 years old who is a public representative, a father and a husband should be in court dealing with these offences.

“I’m concerned that he had consumed a small amount of alcohol as well as sleeping tablets and antibiotics.

“I’m prepared to accept a mixture of these played a role. But when a call like this comes the police have an obligation to attend. They didn’t come looking for him.

They were called.

“We wouldn’t be here today if you had just left the house.”

ENDS

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