Man threatened Garda at Courthouse

Man threatened Garda at Courthouse

A man threatened a garda while on his way out from the local district court telling him “I will see you again”, last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court heard.

Michael Ryan (30), 39 Silverglen, Mountmellick was charged with a public order offence on October 1 at Portlaoise Courthouse and on two other dates in September at Main Street, Kirwin Park and Briars Lane in Mountmellick.

Sergeant JJ Kirby outlined that the defendant had been unhappy about the outcome of a previous case involving public order offences and told a garda to “watch yourself”.

During the incident at Briars Lane, he became abusive to gardai who stopped him operating a sulky horse and cart. Gardai questioned the manner in which the defendant was holding a child, aged 5 at the time, while operating the horse and cart as they felt it was dangerous.

The defendant told the garda to “go f**k yourself,” Sgt Kirby said.

During the incident at Kirwin Park, the defendant initially became abusive to his partner and then gardai. “He began shouting at his partner and the gardai in front of his two children,” Sgt Kirby said.

The court heard the defendant had 135 previous convictions, which included public order offences and possession of drugs.

Defence solicitor Philip Meagher said the defendant felt the garda had been unfair to him during the case at Portlaoise District Court. “He accepts that is not the case and he was simply doing his job,” Mr Meagher said.

The defendant suffers with anxiety and stress and is under the care of a clinic to deal with this. He has also been diagnosed as bi-polar and with ADHD.

The lockdown measures had affected the defendant and his way of dealing with it was to go out and look after his horses. However, this is no longer an option for him, Mr Meagher said.

A welding course has been arranged for the defendant and he is also getting help for anger management.

“A significant trigger was a tragedy involving his child in 2019,” Mr Meagher said.

A lot of people have had to deal with lockdown for the past 11 months or so, Judge Caterine Staines said.

“They don’t go around shouting and abusing guards,” she said.

A nine month prison sentence was imposed on the defendant. However, this was suspended for 12 months, with the defendant put on probation.

Addressing the court, the defendant said he had lost a child which had affected him badly. “I am very sorry for what I said,” he told the court.