Probation act for drunk man who kicked garda sgt

A letter of apology and €1,000 compensation handed into court meant an Abbeyleix man was last week given the probation act having been convicted of assaulting a female garda sergeant.

A letter of apology and €1,000 compensation handed into court meant an Abbeyleix man was last week given the probation act having been convicted of assaulting a female garda sergeant.

Before the district court was Shane Hearns, Derrylahan, Abbeyleix, charged with assault causing harm at Portlaoise Garda Station, on September 1 last year.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that Hearns was arrested for a public order incident, and committed the assault in the custody area of the station.

Insp Farrelly said that as Hearns was being taken to the cell area, “for some unknown reason” he turned and kicked the sergeant in the shin two or three times. The sergeant fell awkwardly, twisting her neck and back, and was subsequently off work for two days. She was left with injuries including bruising to her shin.

Hearns had two previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said Hearns had been out drinking with friends, and experienced “huge difficulties in adjusting to the fresh air” when he left the licensed premises.

“He believes his drink was spiked,” said defence.

After being arrested, Hearns was handcuffed and there were a number of gardaí around him. Ms Fitzpatrick said that “the way his head was” Hearns had not adjusted at all, and he “wasn’t himself”.

“He didn’t mean to the injure the sergeant,” she said, adding that it was reassuring to know the sergeant was now back to duty.

Ms Fitzpatrick handed into court a letter of apology from Hearns and €1,000 compensation. Ruling that Hearns had shown genuine remorse, Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1 1.