07 Jul 2022

Jail sentence for man who called gardai 'pigs and retards'

Jail sentence for man who called gardai 'pigs and retards'

Portlaoise District Court

A man called gardai “pigs and retards” and had to be arrested, after he was initially observed walking out in front of traffic in a drunken state.

Appearing before the recent sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Gavin Swayne (20) with an address at 63 Hillview Drive, Knockmay, Portlaoise. He was charged with public order offences at Carmody Way on August 15 last, and on the same date with public order offences at Market Street, Mountmellick. He was also charged with possession of an article contrary to section 9 (5) of the firearms and offensive weapons act.

He was further charged with public order offences at Rossvale Court on August 25 last, a section 3 possession of drugs offence and with trespass at a house there.

In one incident at Market Street, Mountmellick the defendant had walked out in front of oncoming traffic and was “clearly drunk”, Sgt JJ Kirby told the court.

“He called the guards pigs and retards and told them to f**k off, and had to be arrested,” Sgt Kirby said.

While in garda custody, he was found to be in possession of a roller rail from a filing cabinet, which he had hidden down his trouser leg.

In the other incident at Rossvale Court, the defendant told gardai to “f**k off, I am sleeping here you faggots”.

He also threatened a garda, that he would “break every bone in his body”.

In the incident at Carmody Way, there had been a party at a house. The defendant again threatened gardai and had to be removed.

“He was drunk and abusive and told a garda he would break their jaw,” Sgt Kirby said. “He had to be handcuffed for their safety,” Sgt Kirby added.

The defendant had 26 previous convictions, the most recent of which were for public order offences, including intoxication and damaging property.

Defence solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick said the defendant had the roller rail item hidden in his sock “for protection, and never produced it at any stage”.

The defendant’s comments to gardai were “outrageous”, she admitted, and his behaviour had been “unruly”.

“He has been in custody since the 2nd of September and has had plenty of time to comprehend his behaviour,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

The defendant has had a social worker in his life since he was fifteen years of age. He has one child from a relationship which didn’t work out, Ms Fitzpatrick said.

The defendant had a history of alcohol misuse and spent a period of time homeless. He had previously tried to get treatment at the Cuan Mhuire Treatment Centre.

The incident revolved around his use of alcohol, which unfortunately, the gardai then had to deal with, his solicitor said.

“He is going to have to deal with his alcohol difficulties,” Judge Catherine Staines said, “or he will spend his twenties in prison”.

“You do understand that these are very serious matters,” Judge Staines told the defendant.

A prison sentence of three months was imposed on the defendant. A further consecutive sentence of three months was also imposed, but this was suspended for 12 months, on condition he engages with the Probation Service and gets treatment for his addiction.

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