A man who viciously assaulted a garda, punching her in the face and spitting in her mouth, has been jailed for 11 months, writes Liam Heylin.
At Cork District Court yesterday, Jonathan Murphy, aged 27, of 16 Ballinure Place, Mahon, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to Garda Melissa Galgey. He also admitted several other offences.
Judge Olann Kelleher said the maximum sentence on the charge was 12 months. Making allowance for the plea of guilty, he said he would impose 11 months.
“This was a vicious assault which had serious consequences for the guard. Anyone who assaulted guards, prison officers, or hospital staff should know that it is a very serious matter,” said Judge Kelleher.
“Garda Galgey suffered a broken nose, she was black and blue. He spat in her face and treated her with the utmost contempt.”
Garda Calgey testified: “On the night in question he spat at me. His saliva went into my mouth and eyes. I could taste the alcohol he had been drinking.
“He made verbal threats against me and my family. He said he was going to knock me flat out on the floor and he was going to enjoy doing it.
“He closed his fist and caught me straight into the nose.”
Garda Calgey was out of work for two months as a result of the assault and is still not back to performing full duties.
Inspector Ronan Kennelly said Murphy had 177 previous convictions, including four for assault and three for assault causing harm.
He said that on November 26, 2016, Garda Padraig Coholan and Garda Galgay responded to a call to Oliver Plunkett St in relation to a male and female hassling a busker.
Gardaí met Murphy and a woman and directed them to leave the area.
Murphy walked onto Winthrop St and continued to be abusive and acted aggressively to gardaí, making several threats to them.
Garda Coholan decided to arrest him for failing to comply with his direction and for being drunk and a danger to himself and others in his vicinity.
Insp Kennelly said: “There were a number of people on the street at the time. Garda Coholan attempted to arrest Jonathan Murphy but he ran across the road onto Patrick St.
“Garda Coughlan caught up with him on Patrick St and effected the arrest. Jonathan Murphy resisted arrest and Garda Coholan had to be assisted by Garda Galgey and Garda Ben Denton.
“During the course of the arrest, Jonathan Murphy lashed out and punched Garda Galgey in the face injuring her nose.
“When handcuffed, he spat at Garda Denton, catching him in the face and mouth area. Jonathan Murphy spat at Garda Galgey, catching her in the face and mouth area also,” Insp Kennelly told the court.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.