Mountrath man's charity donation for garda bite

Mountrath man's charity donation for garda bite

A Mountrath man who tried to bite a garda as he was being arrested for roaring and shouting abuse has had a prison sentence appealed after paying a total of €1,500 to a local charity.

Patrick McDonnell, 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”.

The appellant got out of the car shouting and roaring and started walking in and out of traffic shouting abuse. 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. As Garda Rigney was trying to restrain him and handcuff him, McDonnell attempted to bite the garda’s hand.

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 in July, 2016.

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 for two years, and donate €1,500 to a local charity. The judge also imposed 240 hours’ community service.

Following a number of adjournments, the accused paid a total of €700, and was found unsuitable for community service.

When the case returned to the circuit court last week, barrister, Ms Louise Troy said her client had €800 in court. The money was directed to go to the Laois Offaly Families For Autism.

Judge Keenan Johnson suspended the prison sentence for two years, on condition the accused enter into a peace bond of €500.