Man who bit Garda investigating breach of protection order gets two years

Man who bit Garda investigating breach of protection order gets two years
Michael Talbot bit the garda, penetrating his left thigh. File photo.

A man who assaulted two gardaí and bit one in the thigh after breaching a protection order on New Year's Eve has been jailed for two years.

Michael Talbot (aged 33) went on to scream abuse at gardaí and smeared blood all over his jail cell after he was eventually arrested, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

Talbot, with an address in Virginia Park, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm to Garda Yehoshua Graham and Garda Greg Barron at an address in Finglas on December 31, 2018. He also pleaded guilty to one count of breaching a protection order on the same date.

Further counts of criminal damage to the cell and public order offences were taken into consideration by Judge Karen O'Connor.

Handing down a three-year sentence with the final year suspended, Judge O'Connor said the biting attack was “particularly nasty”.

“This was appalling treatment of members of An Garda Siochana,” she said. She noted Talbot has a history of violent offending towards gardaí, including previous convictions for violence in a garda station, abusive behaviour and obstruction of gardaí.

“He has serious anger issues and hostility to authority figures,” the judge said.

The court heard Talbot had been celebrating New Year’s Eve and had been drinking and taking drugs when he decided to call at the house of a woman who had taken a protection order out against him.

Two young children were in the house at the time, although they were in bed.

After arguing with the woman, Talbot left the home, kicking a car on the way out. Gda Graham and Gda Barron, who were called to the scene, came across Talbot walking down the street.

When they approached Talbot, he started using abusive language, telling them to “fuck off” before he started punching at the gardaí and threatening to kill them.

They used pepper spray and one of the gardaí attempted a leg sweep manoeuvre, but Talbot “threw him in the air and he landed on his back”, Judge O'Connor said. Talbot then bit Gda Barron, penetrating his left thigh.

After the gardaí managed to subdue him, Talbot continued to be verbally abusive, the court heard. 

In the garda station, he made derogatory comments to female gardaí and smeared blood all over the cell wall. He was injured himself during the incident and banged his head off the cell door.

Gda Graham was three weeks off work with minor injuries while Gda Barron was off work for several weeks with back injuries and whiplash, the court heard.

Judge O'Connor accepted Talbot was hoping to rehabilitate himself upon completion of his prison sentence. She noted he had a chaotic upbringing and started taking alcohol and drugs from a young age.

Taking the stand today, Talbot apologised to the court, saying: “If I hadn't been drinking and taking drugs that night, this wouldn't have happened.” However, he shortly afterwards got into a heated argument with prosecution barrister, Garret Baker BL, over his criminal conviction record. “The guards are telling lies,” he said.

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