A MAN who shouted abuse at passersby who were watching him as he was arrested has appeared in court.

Police were called to deal with Luke Thomas Dooney after he had become abusive towards a shopkeeper who refused to sell him alcohol, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told.

Officers found him sitting shirtless on a bench at about 12.45pm on Friday, June 20, near the McCall’s Store on Washington Crescent in Newton Aycliffe, the court heard.

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As he was being arrested and led to the police van, a small throng of people had gathered to watch the proceedings, the court heard.

Prosecutor Lorraine Cooper said Dooney, 25, of Shafto Way in the town, shouted abuse at one man, and then called him a “crank”.

The court heard Dooney is serving a prison sentence of nine months, suspended for 18 months, received in May for criminal damage and assault when he was drunk in a shop and hit a member of the public with a weapon.

Carl Swift in mitigation said his client had been drunk on June 20 and accepted the behaviour was “unedifying”.

Magistrates decided Dooney should be sent back to Durham Crown Court where the suspended order was made to be sentenced for the latest offence.

Dooney, who admitted using abusive words, was granted unconditional bail.