10 Aug 2022

Portlaoise gardaí assaulted, spat on and threatened with rape

Portlaoise gardaí assaulted, spat on and threatened with rape

A 19-year-old man who assaulted two gardaí and threatened to rape a female garda and her family before he spat all over them and later urinated on the floor of the garda station “wasn’t in the right state of mind” due to drink and drugs, Portlaoise District Court heard.

Jordan Mallon of 6 Meehan Court, Portlaoise, was charged with three counts of assault, obstructing the gardaí, and criminal damage, at Meehan Court; and criminal damage at Portlaoise Garda Station, namely urinating on the floor.

Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that this was a very serious matter.

On January 1, 2018, at 5am, the gardaí attended the scene of a domestic disturbance, where the accused and his father were roaring and shouting and threats to kill were made.

The gardaí went to break up a struggle, but Garda Roy Cooper was hit on the forehead by the accused’s elbow before he was headbutted, kicked and punched.

Garda Erica Sweetman went to his assistance and the accused threatened to rape her and rape her family. He also called her “a tramp”.

The accused was pepper-sprayed and back-up was called, and when he was placed in the patrol car he kicked the headrest and the radio and spat all over the gardaí and the interior of the car.

He continued in this aggressive manner, said Sgt Kirby. €459 damage was caused to the car and Garda Cooper was out of work for six weeks. Sgt Kirby said the gardaí were deeply traumatised by the incident.

Judge Catherine Staines noted that the DPP had directed the charge be dealt with by summary disposal, but said the incident seemed more serious than that.

Sgt Kirby confirmed that those were the DPP’s directions.

Garda Cooper gave victim impact evidence, in which he said he suffered headaches for a week afterwards and had a laceration to his forehead.

He also said he had lost out on overtime at work as a result.

Judge Staines said she was sorry this had happened to him.

Sgt Kirby said that Garda Sweetman had been very upset by the incident. In addition to the threats to rape her, the accused kicked out at one point and knocked her over, plus she was covered in spit.

The accused had no previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused did not get the best start in life, to which Sgt Kirby said that the accused’s father was well known to gardaí and the accused had a dysfunctional background.

Mr Fitzgerald said his client was undergoing drug rehabilitation and anger management.

He said the accused’s parents had both been drug users and his mother lost her life due to drugs, with the accused going to live with his grandmother.

Defence handed in testimonials, with a Youthreach officer describing the accused as a well mannered and popular student.

In relation to the offence, Mr Fitzgerald said the accused had drank up to 16 cans of lager and spirits, resulting in a blackout. He said the accused appeared genuinely contrite and had letters of apology.

Mr Fitzgerald also said the accused was a great assistance to his grandmother and would compensation for the damage caused.

The accused himself told the court he was under the influence of drink and drugs and could not remember the incident. He said he felt horrible about it and wished to apologise.

“I’m generally a nice person, I wasn’t in the right state of mind,” he said.

Judge Staines said it was an extremely serious incident which merited a prison sentence.

However, she said that reports on the accused seemed completely at odds with what happened on the night and the incident seemed to be an aberration for him. A letter from his grandmother said this behaviout was out of character for him.

The case was adjourned to June 6 next, for a probation report and victim impact statements.

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