A Dungannon man who ran barechested down the street wielding a ceremonial sword has been warned he will be sent to jail if he ‘puts another foot wrong’.
Appearing at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Aidan Young, from Drumglass Way, pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed weapon in a public place.
The court heard how on August 6, police received a report of a drunk man waving a gold-handled sword with a 12 inch blade and shouting, “where the f**k is he?”
When police called to his door, Young, who has a mental health condition, initially appeared with the sword, and had to be told to disarm himself.
He later admitted to police that the sword was his, and that he had taken a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol.
The defence solicitor told the court that Young had not touched alcohol since the incident, and his family were keeping a watchful eye on him.
He added that Young was engaging fully with mental health services and his GP.
However, Judge John Meehan criticised Young for his behaviour, saying that he had ‘ran down a public street drunk as a lord and bare-chested with a machete’.
He warned of the risks to the public presented by ‘people with florid mental health problems who insist on drinking and do nothing to help themselves’.
The judge also said it was ‘insupportable’ to say that the defendant was engaging with services, when it was clear from the medical report that he had went to his GP shortly after the incident but had not taken up the subsequent referral to mental health services.
On top of this, the defendant insisted on keeping a ceremonial sword in his house, said the judge.
‘Does he need to be kept locked down in prison to make him behave responsibly in the community?” asked the judge.
However, he stopped short of sending Young to jail, warning him instead that he had to attend his GP and all appointments with the mental health team and probation for the next month, otherwise he would be imprisoned.
Judge Meehan adjourned the case for one month. Young will appear in court again on December 13.