Man who threatened to knock garda’s head off is given probation as he has turned his life around

Man who threatened to knock garda’s head off is given probation as he has turned his life around

A man who threatened to knock a garda’s head off told the local district court that the offence was caused by his ADHD and autism.

Adam O’Toole of 34 Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, was charged at last week’s Portlaoise District Court with threatening or abusive behaviour.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on June 13 last year, at the Railway Station, Portlaoise, the gardaí were speaking to two males, one of whom was the accused.

The accused said to the garda: “Go on and touch me, I’ll knock your f***ing head off.”

The accused had 28 previous convictions, including 20 for road traffic matters, three for theft, two for using a false instrument, one public order and one for resisting arrest.

Defence for the accused said he was a young man who had left school at an early age. Defence said the accused suffered with ADHD and autism and had very little recollection of the incident.

He wished to apologise to the court and to the gardaí, added the defence barrister.

Judge Catherine Staines remarked that autism was not an excuse for the accused’s behaviour, saying that people with autism don’t normally behave this way.

The accused himself told the court that he could not really remember the night in question.

He also said he had now started work.

Judge Staines asked him had he attended with a psychiatrist for his ADHD and the accused replied he had.

In ruling, Judge Staines said the accused seemed to have turned his life around and she applied the probation act.