Officers bitten and kicked in the head

A police officer was bitten and his colleague kicked in the head as they dealt with a man self-harming in Belfast, a court heard today.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:38 pm
Laganside court complex in Belfast city centre.

Prosecutors said Curtis Steenson, 23, lashed out at the pair after an ambulance was called to the scene.

Steenson, of Westbourne Street in the city, admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard the victims were targeted when they attended disturbances outside a house on the West Circular Road on January 21 this year.

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Steenson turned violent when paramedics were requested for facial injuries he had inflicted on himself.

“He self-harmed again, banging his head against a wall,” a Crown lawyer said.

When police tried to restrain him he struggled and had to be taken to the ground.

“He kicked one officer to the head, dazing him, and bit another officer on the bicep,” the prosecutor added. One of them suffered a concussion while the other had to have injections because the bite had broken through his skin.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said Steenson was in a “very disturbed state” at the time. “He clearly wasn’t thinking through anything he did in a rational way,” counsel said.

“That’s not to excuse what was a completely inexcusable attack on police officers, particularly in the current circumstances.” He urged the court to replicate a deferred sentence imposed on Steenson earlier this week in a separate burglary case.

Agreeing to put sentencing on hold until December, Deputy District Judge Liam McStay warned the defendant: “If you breach the deferral period by re-offending I will act immediately to send you into custody.”