10 Aug 2022

Portlaoise man spat in back of Garda patrol car

Portlaoise man spat in back of Garda patrol car

A Portlaoise man who spat in the back of a garda car after calling the gardaí “pigs” and “tramps” has been given a one-month prison sentence at Portlaoise District Court.

Gerard Nevin (48), 7 Oak Park Halting Site, Portlaoise, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, at Lakeglen, Portlaoise, on May 7, 2020.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on May 7 this year, the gardaí were conducting a drug search when the accused became abusive, calling the gardaí “pigs” and “tramps”. He also told the gardaí to go f*ck themselves, said Sgt Kirby.

Sgt Kirby said that the most serious aspect of this incident which occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic was that the accused spat in the back of the patrol car. He also continued to be abusive towards the gardaí.

The accused had 53 previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said there had been a search going on and the accused was a passenger in the car. The matter did not concern him and he was asked to stop being aggressive, but he lashed out and behaved the way he did.

Concerning the spitting in the back of the patrol car, Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused suffered with his sinuses which was why he had spat, but he accepted he shouldn't have done so.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client had €500 in court to offer by way of compensation. She explained that his family were on social welfare and they had gathered up the money. The accused had also written a letter of apology.

Judge Catherine Staines said it was an appalling way to speak to the gardaí.

“The gardaí require more respect than that; why should they have to put up with this?” said Judge Staines.

Telling the accused to give the money he had brought to court to his wife for her to use it for the family, Judge Staines imposed a one-month prison sentence, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

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