15 Aug 2022

Portlaoise garda drew gun after woman attacked him with a knife

Portlaoise garda drew gun after woman attacked him with a knife

A garda detective had to draw his firearm after a woman in a Portlaoise housing estate tried to attack him with a knife.

At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Sandra Krol (22), Rossvale, Portlaoise, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, and production of an article.

Detective Garda Padraic Ryan gave evidence that on May 5 this year, he attended the scene of an altercation at Rossvale, Portlaoise.

The accused and a male were involved in a physical row, so Det Ryan tried to step between them to break it up.

The accused had a knife in her hand and she made a stabbing motion at the male, with the knife passing by Det Ryan’s face.

Det Ryan pepper-sprayed the accused, at which point she turned on him and came at him with the knife raised at chest level.

The detective told the court that he feared she was going to stab him in the chest, so he drew his firearm and told her to drop the knife.

She dropped the knife and the detective again pepper-sprayed her.

Det Ryan said the accused caused huge difficulties on the night.

The knife was a kitchen knife, similar to a streak knife.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that her client, a Polish national living in Ireland for the last 12 years, had been out on the night and consumed alcohol when an issue arose outside her house, which she got involved in.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that the male had the knife initially and she took it from him to prevent him using it on a third party.

However, Det Ryan said he believed the accused had brought the knife with her from the house.

He said the male had a stick and there had been no mention of the knife on the night.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client had written a letter of apology and had €300 compensation to offer.

She said the accused had a lot to drink and this incident was out of character for her.

In ruling, Judge Catherine Staines said: “It’s extremely serious to have possession of a knife in the middle of a dispute, then to attack a garda. Knives are lethal, one stab in the wrong place can kill someone.”

The judge imposed ten months in prison, suspended for one year.

She also directed the €300 compensation go to Detective Ryan and ordered the destruction of the knife.

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