Coleraine cafe forced to barricade doors from ‘extremely intoxicated’ woman, court told

A cafe in Coleraine was forced to close and barricade its doors to protect customers from a drunk woman, a court heard Friday.

Oleraine Magistrates Court, which sits in Ballymena, also heard Ciara Craig, 40, after leaving the Culture Cafe on Thursday morning, on her way to a church service on Thursday morning, accosted two elderly women and one of the ladies took off her sunglasses.

However, a prosecutor told the court that Craig handed her back when police approached her.

Craig, who is not a permanent resident, appeared in court via video link from police custody and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Church Street.

A prosecutor outlined Craig “swearing at customers and scaring them” at the coffee shop she wouldn’t leave.

As she left, staff closed and barricaded the doors, pointing her to the police, who were just down the street from the cafe “yelling and protesting with members of the public”.

“She was extremely drunk,” the attorney said, adding that the lady, whose sunglasses Craig had removed, declined to complain and proceeded to her service.

While defense attorney Keith Kyle urged District Judge Steven Keown not to put Craig in jail, calling the offense “disruptive behavior more than anything else,” the judge revealed Craig has 190 convictions, including 41 for similar offenses she had violated previous probation orders and was given a suspended sentence two months ago.

“I’m not saying I’m not sympathetic, but it’s a balancing act between someone who needs help but doesn’t take it and protecting the public from that behavior,” the judge said.

Overall, Craig was sentenced to three months in prison, and DJ Keown said he hopes “that she’ll get sober during confinement and get the help she desperately needs” when she gets out. Coleraine cafe forced to barricade doors from ‘extremely intoxicated’ woman, court told

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