A man who ordered his dog to attack gardaí as they executed a warrant to search his house was yesterday jailed for three and a half years.
Keith Plummer, aged 40, also went at the three gardaí with knives, injuring all of them. He admitted assault causing harm to them as well as cultivating cannabis and possession of a knife.
Dundalk circuit court yesterday heard that he shouted “attack, Chico” after the gardaí managed to get into his then home at Sunhill, Termonfeckin, Co Louth, on May 22, 2015.
When they arrived to execute a search warrant, Plummer shouted that somebody must have “ratted” on him, Judge Michael O’Shea was told.
Outside the house, there was a strong smell of cannabis and gardaí could hear the noise of a fan coming from the attic.
When the gardaí forced the door open, Plummer was very aggressive and produced a large silver knife with a 15cm blade. The first garda went to restrain him and Plummer shouted “attack, Chico, attack, Chico”, and the dog, described as a pitbull or similar, jumped up and bit the garda on the arm.
The bite went through to the bone and the garda was forced to let go of Plummer to get the dog off him.
Plummer also stabbed the garda, leaving him with a scar on his face and his wrist.
The second garda used pepper spray to restrain Plummer but was bitten on the leg and stabbed in the knee. The third garda was stabbed in the hand and suffered an injury to his achilles tendon. All three gardaí continue to suffer the effects of their injuries.
Victim impact statements were read to the court outlining the psychological and physical impact on them of the assaults. All three attended counselling and two were diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder.
Plummer had over €8,000 worth of cannabis plants in the attic of the house and was a heavy abuser of cannabis.
John Costello, defending, put it to investigating garda sergeant Fearghal O’Toole the cannabis was for Plummer’s own use and he accepted that.
Plummer publicly and fully apologised to the gardaí for his actions. His barister said he could not explain why he reacted as he did.
Although born in Ireland he moved to the UK with his parents and spent most of his life incarcerated there before returning to Ireland in 2009.
The judge said the assaults were vicious, violent, and savage. He jailed Plummer for three and a half years for each assault, 12 months for the cannabis, and three years for the knife. All sentences to run concurrently.
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