Man who bit garda’s finger resulting in broken bone told suspended sentence “unduly lenient”

Man who bit garda’s finger resulting in broken bone told suspended sentence “unduly lenient”

A man who bit a garda's finger with such force that he broke the bone is facing potential jail time after being told his suspended sentence was too lenient.

Brandon Power (21), of St Jospeh’s Road, Newtownmountkennedy, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Thomas Devereux in Bray courthouse on March 31, 2018.

The Court of Appeal heard that Power was being sentenced for another matter when he became aggrieved and attempted to flee. As he was being restrained, he bit down on the garda’s finger.

Gda Devereux told the court he had never felt pain like it and heard his own finger snap during the attack, thinking Power had bitten it off.

The accused was given a wholly suspended one year sentence by Judge Terence O’Sullivan on April 11, 2019, which was found “unduly lenient” by the Court of Appeal today/yesterday(FRIDAY).

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, James Kelly BL, submitted that there had to have been a “serious application of force” to break the finger.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said he was in "no doubt" that Power’s suspended sentence was “unduly lenient”.

He said Garda Devereaux was simply performing his duty, attempting to prevent Power’s escape from custody.

Mr Justice Birmingham said there were significant mitigating factors present including previous mental health difficulties, and powerful evidence from Power’s mother.

The court sought an up-to-date probation report, ahead of resentencing, and Power was allowed to remain on bail.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said the court was not to be taken as indicating that a custodial sentence was not going to be imposed.

The matter was put back to March 10 for resentencing.

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