Threatened to bite face off in Portlaoise

A PORTLAOISE man who threatened to bite the face off someone during a drunken street row has been given community service.

A PORTLAOISE man who threatened to bite the face off someone during a drunken street row has been given community service.

Kevin Maher, The Heath, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, at Market Square, Portlaoise, on May 19. In the same incident, his friend, Wayne Duck, of Long Road, Mooretown, Rathcoffey, Kildare, was charged with obstructing a peace office and failure to comply with the gardaí.

Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Maher was embroiled in an altercation on the street at 2.10am and was directed to move on by the gardaí.

He became very aggressive and abusive toward the gardai. The court heard he was heard to say “I’ll bite their face off” in relation to another individual.

When the gardaí went to arrest Maher, Wayne Duck pulled one of the garda’s arms and said:“You’re not arresting him”.

Inspector Harrington said that Duck was instructed to leave the scene, but he failed to do so.

Maher was subsequently arrested, but he attempted to kick the back window of the patrol car.

Defence for both men, Mr Philip Meagher said his clients wished to apologise for their actions.

Mr Meagher explained that the men had been out celebrating the birth of Maher’s second child on the night.

Mr Meagher said that it had been Maher’s first night out in some time and he had far too much to drink, which meant his recollection was hazy.

During the night, an individual had made an approach toward a female in their group and Maher had remonstrated with him. Later that night, when they had left the licensed premises and were on the street, the individual again approached the group and Maher once more remonstrated him, which led to a “heated verbal exchange”.

Mr Meagher said that Maher had taken offence at being asked to move on by the gardaí and matters were then compounded by the actions of Duck.

Mr Meagher explained that Duck had merely being trying to assist and had been attempting to explain the situation to the gardaí.

Mr Meagher concluded by saying that Maher has not taken a drink since that night.

“Is this an appropriate way to celebrate the birth of a child?” Judge Staines asked Maher. “You’d be better off being at home helping.”

Judge Staines sentenced Maher to 150 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in prison. The matter was put back to July 19.

As Duck has no previous convictions and the judge said he appeared to have been trying to resolve the matter, he was ordered to pay €200 to the court poor box.