The Mirror reports…
“A drunken vicar who crashed his car while three times the limit threatened to kill police who arrested him saying: “I know the IRA”.
Irish church minister Lee Stephens, 31, injured two young children when he ploughed into a family car after downing shots and beer.
He then assaulted a female paramedic before spitting at a policeman and punching him twice in the leg.
Married dad-of-two Stephens, who has now been kicked out of the church, said: “I am a pastor – let me go or you will lose your jobs.
“I will kill everyone. I know the IRA.”
Despite his crimes Stephens walked free from court with a 16-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
Chair of the bench Bal Babira said: “We consider the assault on the female paramedic as the most serious.
“Your behaviour fell well short for someone of a man in your position.
“Emergency service staff try to help the public and should be given respect and consideration.”
Stephens was thrown out of the Forge Pub in Billericay, Essex, after a boozy session on April 19 this year.
He drove off on the wrong side of the road before reversing into a lamppost and colliding head on with a family’s Ford C-Max
Two children in the vehicle, aged five and six, suffered bruising and whiplash and spent a day in hospital with their father who was driving.
Stephens was placed in the rear of a police car while a cut on his forehead was treated.
The court heard he apologised after trying to put his hand between the legs of a female paramedic.
He then punched paramedic Gary Harvey in the kidneys and hit arresting officer Sgt Mark Ammon twice on the leg.
Stephens later told female PC Gillian Bretttell: “I’ll f**king have you”.
When the clergyman was taken to hospital he told staff: “I was in the IRA and I will f**king shoot you and blow you up.”
He claimed he had no recollection of being arrested when he woke up in a hospital bed the next day.
A breath test showed he had 108 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath per 100ml. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Sam Doyle, prosecuting, told the court the children involved in the crash suffered whiplash and are now too scared to get in a car because they think they will die.
Stephens, admitted assault, assaulting a police officer, common assault, failing to provide a specimen of blood and using threatening words and behaviour.
Mark Jerman, defending, said the pastor was sacked from his job in Billericay, Essex, following the incident.
The court heard he is “deeply shamed” of his actions and has now returned to County Armagh, Northern Ireland, with his wife Tracey and their two young children.
As well as the suspended jail sentence he was placed under a supervision order for 12 months, ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 30 months.
He was also ordered to pay his victims a total of £250 compensation.”