Mountrath man tried to bite garda when he was arrested

Appeal

Mountrath man tried to bite garda when he was arrested

A Mountrath man who tried to bite a garda as he was being arrested for roaring and shouting abuse has paid €400 to a local charity as part of an appeal against a prison sentence.

Patrick McDonnell, Newline Close, Mountrath, was a passenger in a car that was stopped at a multi-agency checkpoint in Clonenagh, Mountrath, on October 30, 2015.

As Garda Darrell Rigney was speaking to the driver, the front seat passenger, Patrick McDonnell began shouting and roaring abuse at him, saying “who the f**k do you think you are”.

He got out of the car shouting and roaring and started walking in and out of traffic shouting abuse.

McDonnell was told to desist and leave the scene a number of times, but he continued to shout abuse, telling Garda Rigney to “f**k off” and he was “only a scumbag”.

Garda Rigney called for assistance, and McDonnell was arrested for both his own safety and the gardaí's.

As Garda Rigney was trying to restrain him and handcuff him, McDonnell attempted to bite the garda’s hand.

“I just pulled away - I’m convinced he would have bit me,” said Garda Rigney.

McDonnell had 12 previous convictions.

He was given one month in prison in the district court for this offence, but he appealed this sentence before Judge Keenan Johnson at the circuit court last July.

At that court, Judge Johnson described the offence as “pure gougerism” and increased the prison sentence to two months, but suspended it for two years on condition McDonnell keep the peace and donate €1,500 to a local charity.

For failing to comply with the gardaí, McDonnell was given 240 hours’ community service in lieu of four months in prison.

When the case returned to the circuit court recently, defence barrister, Mr Colm Hennessy said his client had €400 in court.

Judge Johnson put the matter back to June 14 for an up to date probation report. He also directed that the money in court go to the Laois Offaly Families For Autism.