Man who assaulted 'good Samaritan' and urinated against university building jailed for six months

Belfast Magistrates court
Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

A man who urinated against an Ulster University building and assaulted a “Good Samaritan” who tried to help him has been jailed for six months.

James Briers also attacked a taxi and threatened violence towards police officers as part of a spate of crimes in Belfast city centre.

The 24-year-old, of no fixed abode, was convicted of offences including indecent behaviour, common assault, criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and assault on police.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he was spotted urinating against the Ulster University campus building at York Street on April 5 last year.

When challenged by staff Briers knocked over a bollard and kicked windows at a nearby restaurant.

He then pushed and tried to punch a man who approached him at the scene.

A Crown lawyer said: “He used derogatory, sectarian terms towards the victim.”

In a separate incident the previous month Briers became involved in a verbal exchange with a taxi driver while standing in the middle of North Street.

He kicked the front of the vehicle before walking off towards Royal Avenue.

The bill for repairing damage caused to the taxi came to £210, according to the prosecution.

Briers was arrested again on December 7 last year after being found lying on a pavement on High Street.

The court heard he swore at police officers and threatened to “smash their heads in”.

At one point he allegedly tried to smash a glass bottle on the ground and made further threats to the constables in front of other members of the public.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey said Briers has issues with mental health and homelessness.

But District Judge Rosie Watters declared: “Custody is inevitable.”

Imposing a six month sentence, she told Briers: “In two of these incidents you attacked people coming to your assistance, although you didn’t injure them. It puts off Good Samaritans.”

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