Stole bottle of vodka from Tesco store

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A man who stole a bottle of vodka then attempted to headbutt a police officer when investigations led them to the Simon Community hostel in Larne.

Stephen Ewing (37), whose address was given as no fixed abode, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison.

He admitted assaulting police, resisting an officer in the execution of his duty and also pleaded guilty to the theft of a £15 bottle of vodka from Tesco Express in Larne on February 26 this year. He had placed the drink under his coat and left the shop without paying.

At the Simon Community, Ewing became aggressive with police and tried to headbutt one officer and attempted to strike another officer. The defendant was put in handcuffs and had limb restraints applied. A “large amount” had been taken from the stolen vodka bottle.

Defence barrister Amy Campbell said the attempted headbutt was really the result of her client “flailing” his limbs. She added: “He just can’t handle alcohol and loses his temper”.

Ewing was given a four months jail term, suspended for two years.