No court can tolerate an assault on gardaí, a District Court judge warned.
A 21-year-old man who assaulted two gardaí in a “nasty” manner in Kenmare garda station last April has been handed down two convictions.
The apprentice plumber who — the court was told would like to travel — is lucky not to be spending months in jail, Judge James O’Connor said at Cahersiveen District Court.
Adrian Larkin, of Elm Close, Pairc na Gloine, Kenmare, was arrested at the Square Kenmare on April 2 last for breach of the peace and drunkenness.
Larkin resisted arrest and, at Kenmare Garda Station, he kicked Garda Seán Twomey into the shins and gave him a black eye and also spat at Garda Seán O’Reagan.
He pleaded guilty to the two counts of assault causing harm to the gardaí, along with pleas to public drunkenness and breach of the peace and resisting arrest.
Judge James O’Connor had remanded him in custody from Kenmare on Friday to appear before Cahersiveen on Thursday.
There was an “understanding” that a spell of just under a week in jail might result in the Probation Act being applied to allow the young man, who was hard- working, to avoid a conviction, said his solicitor, Brendan Ahern. A conviction would affect travel to places such as Australia, Mr Ahern added.
However, Judge James O’Connor told the solicitor that his client has done well in not being sent to jail for months.
“You cannot assault the gardaí,” said the judge. “This was a nasty assault. There was nastiness involved in spitting at Garda O’Regan. No court can let anyone out the door without a conviction for assaulting a garda.”
The same holds for ambulance and other personnel, the judge noted.
Mr Ahern argued strongly that his client had a difficult background; had only minor road traffic convictions; and is two years into his plumbing apprenticeship.
The garda’s injuries were not serious.
“This is a hard-working young fellow,” Mr Ahern said, asking perhaps for an adjournment of the decision.
However, Judge O’Connor refused. He convicted Larkin on both counts of assault — taking the other charges into consideration. He was fined a total of €700.
“You’d be in jail for five to six months in any other court! You did well,” Judge O’Connor told Larkin.
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