Judge describes dogs at scene of man’s obstructive behaviour towards gardaí as 'quasi weapons'

Judge describes dogs at scene of man’s obstructive behaviour towards gardaí as 'quasi weapons'

Two German Shepherd dogs at the scene of a man’s obstructive behaviour towards gardaí in Crossbarry were described by a sentencing judge yesterday as “quasi weapons”.

Frank McCarthy, 34, of Ballyhandle, Crossbarry, County Cork, pleaded guilty to obstructing two members of An Garda Síochána, namely Garda Darren Cahalane and Garda Matthew Galvin on November 23, 2017.

Sergeant Tom Lehane testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the guards stopped McCarthy driving his Ford Mondeo that day but he drove off towards his residence.

“He proceeded to shout and roar at gardaí. He then lay down on the ground behind the patrol car so that the car could not reverse. He closed the gate across the exit,” the sergeant said.

McCarthy had two German Shepherd dogs that acted aggressively at the scene, Sgt Lehane said.

The two gardaí had to seek assistance. Six members of the armed support unit arrived. Incapacitant spray and taser had to be deployed before McCarthy could be arrested. But he continued to cause difficulties for gardaí even after his arrest.

Defence barrister, Donal O’Sullivan, said that the accused was affected cognitively on the occasion in 2017 as a result of a head injury he sustained a month previously.

“He acknowledges his behaviour was appalling and he cannot understand why he behaved in that way. He expressed remorse,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan said the defendant had used two powerful dogs as “quasi weapons” which would have been frightening for the gardaí.

“He would be a most unsuitable person to be in control of two serious dogs. I am not suggesting euthanasia but I suspect he would have no difficulty finding another home for them,” the judge said.

McCarthy said he no longer had the dogs.

Judge O’Callaghan said, “We are making progress already.”

Sentencing was adjourned until February 24.

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