A mother-of-seven incited some of her own children — one as young as four years old — to assault a garda who had investigated a late-night house party.
Inspector Brian O’Donovan described this scenario at Cork District Court yesterday.
The 45-year-old woman pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting Garda Karl Griffin at a house in Cork City.
For legal reasons related to the identification of children in the case she is not identified in this report.
Insp O’Donovan said that Garda Griffin went to investigate the incident at shortly before 1am following a report of a party going on with a lot of intoxication and the presence of young children.
Garda Griffin was concerned about the welfare of the children and he told the mother he would be entering the house.
Insp O’Donovan said Garda Griffin got a hostile reaction and the mother struck him on the left arm and shoulder. He was also assaulted by children. A number of men present in the house were intoxicated at the time.
Diarmuid Kelleher, defence solicitor, said the incident dated back more than three years to October 3, 2013, when the defendant was in the throes of addiction difficulties, including a heroin addiction.
“She is off diamorphine [heroin] now and on a methadone treatment programme,” Mr Kelleher said.
Mr Kelleher said the four-year-old child referred to as one of those involved in assaulting the guard was now in care and the accused was undertaking a number of programmes with the objective of regaining custody of the child.
“She is working on her problem. She knows that her relationship with her children is in the balance. She has to handle her addiction.
“She seems to be getting on the right track,” Mr Kelleher said.
Judge Grainne O’Neill said: “I have heard a lot about her and very little about Garda Griffin.
“This is an alarming way to behave in front of her children.
“Not only does she assault the guard but she incites them to assault him too.”
The judge was told that Garda Griffin was not injured during the assault.
Judge O’Neill decided that the defendant could do 100 hours of community service instead of three months in prison.
“You can thank your solicitor for the fact that you are not going to jail,” the judge said to the accused.
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