A YOUNG man who punched a detective garda in the face will have to carry out community service in order to avoid a prison sentence.
John Allen, aged 24, of Glenbrook, Old Singland Road pleaded guilty, at Limerick Court, to assaulting Detective Garda David Baynham twice in the early hours of October 12, last.
Det Garda Baynham, who is attached to the divisional drugs unit, told the court he was on routine patrol with a number of colleagues in the Cecil Street area at around 1.40am when they observed a group of youths acting suspiciously at the entrance to a flat complex.
When the gardai went to investigate further, Allen became aggressive towards them and was arrested for breaches of the Public Order Act.
Det Garda Baynham said the defendant lashed out and kicked him and that a struggle ensued as he tried to arrest him.
“It took all I could to restrain him,” he said adding that Allen was “aggressive in his demeanor and nature”.
Following his arrest, the defendant was placed in a patrol car and taken to Henry Street gardai station for processing.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told that he became violent at the garda station when his handcuffs were removed and that he punched Det Garda Baynham in the face. “My nose was bleeding quite heavily and it was sore for two or three weeks afterwards,” said the witness.
The court was told that an X-Ray showed the detective’s nose was not broken as a result of the assault.
Det Garda Baynham said he believed Allen was under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the night and that this may have been a factor in his behaviour.
Solicitor Sarah Ryan said there was nothing in her client’s background to suggests a propensity towards violence and she said he had “no instructions” in relation his alleged drug use.
She added that her client was not charged with criminal damage or drugs offences arising from the incident.
Judge O’Kelly said the behaviour of the defendant was “entirely unacceptable” particularly as the injured party was a detective garda who was triying to do his job.
He imposed a five month prison sentence in relation to the assault at Henry Street, suspending it for 12 months.
He indicated he is considering imposing a three months prison sentence in relation to the assault at Cecil Street.
However, if Allen is deemed suitable for Community Service, he will ordered that he complete 60 hours in lieu of the prison sentence.
The case was adjourned to September.