‘Suicidal’ man who had binged on vodka threatened police with scalpel

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A “suicidal” man who sliced open his arm with a scalpel as police tried to detain him must complete 12 months probation, a judge has ordered.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Polish national Michael Lewandowski binged on 1.5 litres of vodka before struggling with officers called to his home in the east of the city.

Despite being disarmed and taken to hospital the 39-year-old continued to be aggressive, prosecutors said.

Lewandowski, of Castlereagh Road in Belfast, was convicted of two counts of assault on police and disorderly behaviour at the Ulster Hospital.

Officers were called to the house on July 11 last year following reports of a domestic incident.

A prosecution lawyer said the heavily intoxicated defendant went upstairs and returned with a scalpel.

He then sliced his arm and threatened officers as they tried to reason with him, she claimed.

Amid fears for their safety police struck and disarmed Lewanowski.

He was handcuffed and taken to hospital, but continued to show aggression towards officers, the court heard.

Lewandowski later made admissions, and also revealed the amount of vodka he had drunk before police arrived.

Defence counsel Tim Jebb described his client’s behaviour as “appalling”.

He argued however, that the defendant, who has lived in Northern Ireland for around 18 months, had been suicidal on the day and never intended to injure any officers.

“What he accepts doing is holding the scalpel to his wrist and slicing himself,” Mr Jebb said.

“Whenever police attempted to help him he accepts at that stage he held out the scalpel and said ‘stay back’.

“It was not a threat to injure police, but rather a means of trying to keep police from him.”

Imposing a 12-month probation order, District Judge Amanda Brady acknowledged the scalpel had been used in an apparent suicide bid.