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17 Aug 2022

Judge told woman lashed out at gardaí after being stopped on road in Laois

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laois crime

Portlaoise District Court

A woman lashed out at gardaí stopping the car she driving on the rims of its wheels due to two flat tyres.

Garda Roy Cooper gave evidence at a sitting of Portlaoise District Court on October 8 of being on duty and receiving a report about the car being driven on the rims of its wheels. It was also driven on the wrong side of the road at one point.

Arising out of this incident, Karin Hutchinson (34), of 21 Old Mill Race, Monasterevin, Co Kildare was charged with failing to provide a specimen and assault of a garda at Ballyshaneduff, Ballybrittas on June 7, 2018.

When gardaí approached the defendant she became aggressive when she was informed she was being arrested and started lashing out at Garda Cooper’s colleague. She kicked the garda and shouted abuse at him. She later kicked Garda Cooper in the legs, also.

Gardaí had to call for assistance. The defendant later calmed down and was put in a patrol car. However, while in the car, she kicked the back of Garda Cooper’s seat and was transferred to a public order vehicle.

Defence solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had written two letters of apology. Garda Cooper accepted that the defendant was remorseful.

“She does apologise for her behaviour,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

The defendant paid over €300 as part compensation for the difficulties caused on the night.

Ms Fitzpatrick said there were some mitigating factors.

“She has no memory of the event,” Ms Fitzpatrick said of the defendant.

There was also a mental health element to the incident, she added.

Judge Catherine Staines said this may have been some form of psychiatric episode, causing the defendant to “disassociate from herself”. She sought a probation report on the matter.

Ms Fitzpatrick said the defendant’s counsellor could provide a report.

The case was adjourned to October 13. The €300 compensation is to go to the Garda Benevolent Fund.

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