Pepper sprayed as abusive to gardaí

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Pepper sprayed as abusive to gardaí

A Portlaoise man who had to be pepper-sprayed and arrested after shouting abuse at the gardaí has been given community service in lieu of prison.

At last Thursday's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Aaron Cripps, 21, with an address at 43 Oakleaf Place, Portlaoise, was charged with threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place, at the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on September 16 last year, at 10.20pm on the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, the accused was shouting abuse at the gardaí while members of the public were in the vicinity.

There was a chase on foot before the accused was apprehended and during arrest he attempted to kick a garda, but no contact was made.

The accused had to be pepper-sprayed and handcuffed, said Sgt Kirby.

The accused had no previous convictions, but was given the benefit of the probation act in 2018.

Defence, Mr Aonghus McCarthy said his client had been using diazepam and alcohol at the time, but he is clean of drugs now and is in “a completely different headspace”.

Mr McCarthy said the accused was doing 30 hours’ community service on other matters.

He also said there were no new charges against the accused.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed a further 40 hours’ community service in lieu of one month in prison.