A NIGERIAN national whose friend was arrested for drink driving bit a garda on the hand, after an incident in Portlaoise garda station brought back memories of something that had happened to her years before in her own country.
Before last week’s court was Odaise Merit, Apt 1 Ballygriffen House, Derrinturn, Kildare, who was charged with assault causing harm at Portlaoise Garda Station on June 6.
Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Odaise was a passenger in a car which was stopped by gardaí. Her friend was arrested for drink driving and Odaise accompanied her friend to the station. After returning from the toilet in the garda station, Odaise became irate and began shouting and banging on the window in the public area. The gardaí attempted to restrain her and she bit one of the officer’s on the hand, breaking the skin.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher explained that Odaise had been asleep in the car having taken drink at a friend’s christening party and she was disoriented when she woke up. Mr Meagher said that his client had been involved in a serious incident with Nigerian police nine years before and “certain memories came back” in the garda station.
“When the gardaí tried to calm her down she became more agitated and there was contact between the arm of the garda and her mouth,” Mr Meagher said.
Mr Meagher concluded by saying Odaise was very upset and distressed by what had happened.
Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back to September 13 for a victim impact report and she ordered €700 be paid to the injured garda.