Court - Man who put garda in headlock in A&E put on probation

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A Portlaoise man who put a garda in a headlock during a disturbance caused by his family at the local hospital has been put on six months’ probation.

Kenneth Kelly, 69 O’Moore Place, Portlaoise, was at last week’s district court for the finalisation of the case, which involved public order charges at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise on January 28, 2014.

State’s evidence outlined that gardaí were called to a disturbance in the A&E department on the night. As they were arresting a woman, the gardaí were approached by the accused.

Kelly physically assaulted a garda by getting him in a headlock and pulling him to the ground. He also cursed and spat at the gardaí, and pepper spray had to be used in his arrest.

Kelly had 70 previous convictions.

When the case came before Judge Staines last May, she adjourned the case for Kelly to pay compensation to both the garda he assaulted and the staff of the A&E.

When the case returned to court last week, defence, Mr Declan Breen send there were two letters of apology, one for the gardaí and one for the staff of the A&E.

Mr Breen said that of the €400 compensation Kelly had been directed to have, he had €150 in court. Mr Breen said this was the best Kelly could do, as he was doing up his house at the moment.

Judge Staines imposed six months probation. She put the matter back to March 16, for the accused to have €200 for the A&E staff. She directed that the €150 in court go to the gardaí.