A Mountmellick man who threatened to break a garda’s jaw and later urinated in the custody area of the garda station has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Before the court was Shane McGrath (31), Clonterry, Mountmellick.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on November 12 last year, at James Fintan Lalor Avenue, Portlaoise, the accused was refusing to get off the green bus. When the gardaí arrived he became abusive towards them, calling them “retards”, “pricks” and “stupid c*nts”.
On December 19 last, he was intoxicated and abusive to the staff of Morrisseys and had to be removed. When the gardaí arrived, the accused threatened a garda saying he would break his jaw. He was arrested and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station, where he urinated in the custody area.
And on March 27 last year, he was detected on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise with a small amount of cannabis valued at €20.
The accused had 18 previous convictions, four for public order offences and four for drugs.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said the accused was extremely ashamed of his actions.
“Drinking does not suit him,” said Mr Meagher, adding that the accused had penned a letter of apology to the gardaí which was heartfelt.
Mr Meagher said the accused acknowledged his difficulty with drink and had not taken a drop in a number of months. The accused had €500 in court to cover the cost of the damage, or to go to charity.
Mr Meagher said that last year the accused had been dealing with issues from his youth and had unfortunately been using alcohol as a crutch.
Judge Staines said the gardaí have to put up with appalling behaviour.
“I don’t know how they do it putting up with drunken, nasty people,” she said.
Saying she believed the letter of apology to be genuine, Judge Staines imposed a three month sentence, suspended for one year on the accused’s own bond of €100. Condition of the suspension is that the accused must abstain from alcohol.
The €500 was directed to go as compensation to the garda who was threatened.
“He shouldn’t have to put up with these threats,” said the judge.