DUP MLA Mervyn Storey’s son in court charged with assaulting police officer

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A SON of Northern Ireland Policing Board member Mervyn Storey appeared in court on Monday and admitted charges of assaulting a PSNI officer and resisting another policeman.

Philip Storey (24), of Seacon Road in Ballymoney, also pleaded guilty to being disorderly in a public place - The Diamond in Portstewart.

The defendant was in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court where a defence solicitor said her client had a previously clear record.

A prosecution lawyer said that at 12.50am on Sunday December 8 last year police were on duty in Portstewart and they spoke with the defendant who was intoxicated and “stumbling” in the middle of a road.

The defendant told officers to “f-ck off” and was shouting and swearing with his fists clenched.

He was advised to calm down and walk away but swung his arm with a clenched fist narrowly missing an officer.

He told an officer: “You are a f-cking dead man”.

Limb restraints had to be applied and the defendant was taken to Coleraine Police Station where he replied “sorry” when charged the following morning.

The defence lawyer said it was probably luck that the defendant had not connected with the police officer.

Two references were handed in to court - one from the defendant’s church minister and and the other from his employer.

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare noted the references said the incident had been “totally out of character” and that the defendant made a valuable contribution to “society in general”.

The defence lawyer said her client had initially not wanted to use a reference from his Minister as he felt that was “inappropriate because of his behaviour that night”.

The solicitor said there had been incidents in the defendant’s life and he had “turned to alcohol”.

She said the defendant came to police attention because officers were concerned for his safety on a road but her client had “reacted very badly”.

The lawyer said her client had said sorry the next day and accepted his behaviour had been unacceptable and he now wished to put the matter behind him.

Judge O’Hare said when he first heard the facts it seemed as if it was a “depressingly familiar” case of a young man getting himself “stupidly drunk” but he said the references “paint a very different picture”.

The judge added: “I’m told this was a one-off, out-of-character, incident that won’t be repeated”.

Fining the defendant £450 Judge O’Hare told him: “Alcohol is no solution to any problem”.

The defendant is a son of North Antrim DUP Assembly Member Mervyn Storey who is a member of the Policing Board.

The Board holds the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the policing service.

Mervyn Storey was previously Minister for Social Development and Minister for Finance & Personnel in the Northern Ireland Executive.