Drunk former boxer aged 83 struck police

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An 83-year-old former boxer took up a fighting stance and struck a policeman after he was wakened from a drunken sleep on a bench at Portadown train station.

Thomas Cordner, Blaris Fold, Beechland Drive, Lisburn, admitted two assaults on police officers, simple drunk and disorderly behaviour on January 12 last year.

He had pleaded guilty at a previous sitting of Craigavon Magistrates Court and sentencing was adjourned until last Friday so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

The court heard that around 6pm police were notified of a disturbance at Portadown train station and on arrival they found the defendant, who was heavily intoxicated, sleeping on a bench.

He became verbally abusive to police, used foul language before striking out and hitting an officer on the upper torso.

Cordner also began to swing both his fists but there was no contact or injury to any officer.

A barrister representing the defendant said that on this occasion Cordner had been drinking too much.

He explained that his client used to be a boxer and was totally intoxicated. When he got up from the bench he was showing police some boxing moves.

The lawyer added that Cordner, who would apologise for his behaviour, was now living in a Fold after years of serious alcohol abuse.

He added that the defendant had now given up alcohol, was studying with the Open University and was trying to keep himself physically healthy.

The lawyer said that Cordner had made an officer apprehensive when he had taken up a boxing stance.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that over the years the defendant had quite a bad record due to alcohol abuse.

The defendant appeared in court with a walking aid and Judge Bates said he was prepared to consider something other than immediate custody.

For each of the assaults Cordner was sentenced to three months in custody and for the disorderly behaviour he was given two months.

The sentences are to run concurrently and were suspended for 12 months.

He was fined £90 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy for simple drunk.