Drunk artist wanted to box security guards


A man who adopted a boxer’s stance before charging at security guards on the grounds of Queen’s University in Belfast has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Brendan McDermott, 46, who was described as an ‘artist’ when he appeared in Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, was charged with one count of common assault. His address was given as ‘no fixed abode’ but the court heard he has recently been living in a squat in the city.

A representative from the Public Prosecution Service said a “heavily intoxicated” McDermott was on the grounds of the south Belfast university on July 2. When he was challenged by security guards, he adopted a boxer’s stance and then charged at the security staff with clenched fists. He swung his fist and the punch “glanced” the head and neck of one of them.

When he was arrested for common assault, McDermott admitted he wanted to box the staff but couldn’t remember a punch connecting.

A defence solicitor said McDermott was accepting the charge, but had “no great recollection” of events as he had been at a concert the previous night and had then proceeded to a house party where he got “very drunk”.

The solicitor also described his client as an artist and said he did voluntary work for a local charity.

Saying “alcohol is at the bottom of this”, district judge Fiona Bagnall handed McDermott a one-month sentence, which was suspended for a year.