Court - Threatened gardaí with leg of a chair after wife rang for help

Judge hits out at 'thuggery' on Christmas day

Court - Threatened gardaí with leg of a chair after wife rang for help

A man threatened gardai with a leg from a broken chair when they responded to a call from his wife for help on Christmas Day.

Joseph Donoghue (34), 13 Cullenbeg, Mountmellick was charged with a section 2 assault offence on December 25, 2015, when he appeared before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court.

The defendant had a disagreement with his wife and gardai were called in the early hours.

When they arrived he was abusive and then picked up the chair leg and acted in an aggressive manner, Inspector Eamonn Curley told the court.

Defence solicitor Anne Manning told the court the defendant is on medication for depression and should not have mixed this with alcohol. “Because of the time of year, pressure was put on him to have a drink,” which eventually led him to act the way he did, she said.

Ms Manning told the court the defendant had not been in trouble for ten years. However, it emerged that the defendant had public order convictions in 2014 and 2011.

The defendant has five-year-old twins and has settled down since then and is a good father, Ms Manning said.

“This lady was in distress and called gardaí to help her,” Judge Catherine Staines said. However, when gardai arrived the defendant threatened them.

“This type of thuggery is just not acceptable,” she said.

“Nobody poured the drink into him. Gardaí have to be given respect.

“If they are going to be assaulted and threatened then he will have to go to jail,” Judge Staines said.

When Ms Manning said the defendant had apologised to the garda, who holds no ill will towards him, Judge Staines said this was testament to the garda involved.

The defendant had threatened garda sergeant Ingrid Moore “with a stick – it is just not acceptable, gardaí have to be respected,” Judge Staines said.

A prison sentence of four months was imposed on him, with recognisances fixed in the event of an appeal.