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Frosty reception Man who pushed a fridge out window almost hitting pedestrian given six month sentence

The judge said “every so often I come across things that I think that’s so bad I don’t really have any alternative” but to impose a jail sentence.

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Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

A Lisburn man who trashed a furnished flat with a baseball bat and pushed a fridge out of a second floor window, almost hitting a pedestrian below, was given a six-month sentence today.

Describing the offences and accompanying video as “absolutely disgraceful,” District Judge Rosie Watters also ordered Martin Cecil Connor to pay £6,000 compensation to Clanmil Housing Association for the damage he caused.

Watching the video at Lisburn Magistrates Court, she told the 35-year-old “I feel sorry for the people who moved there thinking ‘oh, these are lovely apartments’.”

“They are lovely but there’s some people who live there who are far from lovely,” said the judge who gave a live commentary as she watched the three and a half minute video.

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Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

“How would he do that amount of damage to a housing association house.....ach look he has a baseball bat there and everything - he must be a big baseball fan,” said DJ Watters.

Earlier a prosecuting lawyer described how a couple were walking below the window of the second floor flat on Graham Gardens in the city on 9 March last year when the fridge freezer was pushed out and court heard that had it not been for the balcony below, it would have landed on them.

They called police who arrested Connor at the scene and he later entered guilty pleas to causing criminal damage to the flat and the balcony below which both belonged to the Clanmil Housing association and a technical common assault of the woman who had been walking past.

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Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

Martin Cecil Connor

In the three and a half minute, expletive filled video of the incident taken by Connor’s unknown friend, the apartment, which had been fully furnished, is completely trashed with cupboards doors hanging off and the fridge lying on its back, close to empty Buckfast bottles while Connor, vodka bottle in hand, rants incoherently as he picks it up, shoves it out of the window and then produces the bat as he strides out the door.

Arrested and interviewed Connor, from Windermere Gardens also in Lisburn, “apologised for his actions” and lodging his pleas in mitigation, defence counsel Peter Canavan conceded it had “rightly been described as very dangerous behaviour.”

He said while Connor did not have any compensation with him, he works on a Dublin building site five days a week and is “willing to pay restitution” but will need time to save the money, suggesting the judge could defer passing sentence to allow that to happen

He submitted that a deferral would also allow Connor an opportunity to show that “he is a responsible person who doesn’t have the same issues with alcohol that he did in the past.”

“In the real world people pay for things,” DJ Watters told the lawyer, “if he owned it himself I wonder would he have thrown it....people who own things don’t destroy them willy-nilly.”

Describing it as a “reckless act,” the judge told Connor “every so often I come across things that I think that’s so bad I don’t really have any alternative” but to impose a jail sentence.

Although Connor was initially taken to the cells, he was later freed on bail after Mr Canavan said there would be an appeal of the sentence.

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