AN Abbeyleix man who kicked a garda in the groin and spat in his face when he was being arrested following a public disturbance with his girlfriend was last week given community service and ordered to pay the injured party compensation.
Darren Delaney, with an address listed at 27 Balladine Heights, Abbeyleix, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, intoxication in a public place, obstructing a peace officer, and assault. The offences were committed at 5 Fassidine, Mountrath Road, Abbeyleix, on September 29 last year.
Garda Inspector Kieran Keyes gave evidence that gardaí were called to a disturbance in a public park, where they found the defendant in a disorderly state with minor injuries. When the gardaí were attempting to deal with him, Delaney kicked out at one of the officers and hit him in the groin. When he was being taken to the garda station he spat into the garda’s face, and when they arrived at the station he kicked out at the front door.
Delaney has eight previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that Delaney had been in a relationship at the time, a relationship which he had been advised to disassociate himself from. On the day, he was attempting to explain to the lady in question that he had to disassociate himself from her, but he had drink taken.
“He’s ashamed of his behaviour,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.
She told the court that the incident had happened the first day he attempted to go “cold turkey” from drugs. She said that her client is now drug free and has attended St Francis’ Farm to deal with his addiction. He attends AA meetings and hopes to be a drugs counsellor one day. Ms Fitzpatrick said that Delaney offered his apologies to the garda he assaulted and she handed in a letter of apology.
After reading the letter, Judge Catherine Staines noted that Delaney had thanked the garda for treating him so well the morning after his arrest. She described the attack as “out of the ordinary abuse” that the gardaí would have to be deal with and she ordered compensation be paid.
The judge imposed 150 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in prison. She also told Delaney to have at least €300 compensation for the injured garda when he returns to court on January 13 next year.