A Clonmel man who assaulted a female member of An Garda Síochána causing her harm in October last year waited until today to admit the offence and apologise to her.
The case against Darren O’Leary was due to go to trial at Cork District Court this afternoon.
However, when the case was called, defence solicitor Daithí Ó Donnabháin said the accused man was entering a plea of guilty to assault causing harm to the guard and obstructing her colleague in the course of the arrest.
O’Leary had to be pepper-sprayed in order to effect the arrest at the scene, Sergeant Barry Myers told the court.
Judge John King said this was a very serious assault and that the plea of guilty was only entered at the 11th hour.
He pointed out that the maximum sentence was 12 months and that even though O’Leary entered a guilty plea, the full sentence was merited.
However, the judge said that he would take account of the fact that between various periods remanded in custody on the charge, O’Leary had spent six months in prison already.
Judge King then imposed a six-month jail term to commence today.
Darren O’Leary, aged 34, of 22 Elm Park, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to Garda Orla Coakley at Montenotte Hotel, Cork, on October 4, 2018 — and three public order charges, namely obstructing Garda Karen O’Sullivan, engaging in threatening behaviour, and being drunk and a danger.
The judge also imposed a nine-month sentence on the obstruction charge, to be suspended for two years following his release from prison.
Judge King warned that if the defendant got into any difficulties in the two years following his release from jail he had better have a good excuse or he would have to serve the nine-month sentence as well as the six months.
O’Leary apologised today for assaulting the guard and for his behaviour on the day last October.
Sgt Myers said that when he interviewed the accused man, he made no comment to any of the questions put to him.