Motorist accused of biting police ‘hadn’t slept in four days’

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A motorist accused of biting a police officer after a series of road traffic collisions claimed he hadn’t slept in four days, the High Court has heard.

Samuel Patterson was described as driving like “a madman” before a crash halted his car in Londonderry last week – with £10,000 in cash then seized from the vehicle.

Two days earlier the 34-year-old had allegedly broke into and trawled through his ex-partner’s house in Belfast.

Patterson, of Strathearn Park in Belfast, faces charges of burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault on police and dangerous driving.

The court heard his former partner returned home in the early hours of October 23 to discover her front door forced open.

Clothes and the contents of handbags were strewn about the floor, while upstairs a bed had been tipped on its side and a drawer emptied out.

Later that day she woke to find Patterson standing at the foot of the bed, it was alleged.

Kate McKay, prosecuting, said the accused left again and was only arrested following further incidents on the A5 road between Sion Mills and Londonderry on October 24.

It was claimed that he was involved in a number of road traffic collisions, with other motorists reporting his car travelling at speed in their direction.

“The driver was described as a madman,” Mrs McKay told the court.

A final three-car collision in Londonderry resulted in another motorist sustaining whiplash injuries.

Mr Justice Maguire was told when Patterson was arrested he replied: “I don’t know what’s going on, I haven’t slept in four days.”

As the accused was being taken into custody he allegedly bit a policeman on the hand, inflicting eight bleeding puncture marks.

Searches of his car uncovered £10,000 in cash which was then sized under proceeds of crime legislation.

According to Mrs McKay no explanation was given for the money.

She added that police believe Patterson was under the influence of drugs when he was detained – although he has not been charged.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that his client could be released on condition that he doesn’t go near his ex-partner’s home.

Mr McConkey also revealed Patterson is due to take over running his father’s building contractor operation.

“There’s contracts to be signed as the business is in the process of being handed over to him,” the barrister said.

But adjourning the bail application, Mr Justice Maguire requested a psychiatric report to explain Patterson’s alleged behaviour.

The judge said: “It seems clear to me he has behaved in an outrageous manner.”