A TEENAGER seen crossing Sarsfield Street holding an empty keg of beer over his head fled on foot when confronted by a garda, Limerick District Court has heard.
Garda Niall O’Connor gave chase to 19-year-old Ger McCarthy, of Parkview, Hassett’s Cross, after he “dropped the keg forcefully on the ground when challenged”, Sgt Donal Cronin said. He was abusive when apprehended and pepper spray had to be used to effect his arrest.
McCarthy pleaded guilty to public order offences and to carrying out an assault earlier on the night of July 17 last.
The assault was not witnessed by gardai and came to light following a complaint by the injured party, Steve Jordan, and a review of CCTV.
McCarthy further admitted separate public order offences after gardai were called to an incident at Sexton Street North, Thomondgate, on May 15 last. Garda Maurice O’Brien had seen bruises on McCarthy’s face and cuts on his knuckles when he encountered the accused, who Sgt Cronin said had appeared “very high or elated” on the night. He was aggressive towards Garda O’Brien and “ultimately had to be restrained”.
Ted McCarthy, solicitor, said in respect of the incident in Thomondgate that his client had just been attacked.
“Yes,” said Judge O’Kelly, “but in July, the night he was pepper-sprayed, gardai saw CCTV showing that he himself was involved in assaulting others.”
McCarthy, the judge said, was “a very young man to have a nine-month sentence already behind him, which seems to have had very little effect.”
That sentence, for one of 29 previous convictions, had been imposed at Limerick District Court for burglary in October 2011.
Mr McCarthy explained that his client had been in the care of the HSE until he reached 18 and “doesn’t have the requisite skills to survive on his own” following the withdrawal of those supports and had “fallen from one difficulty to the other”.
Rather than “adopting the crude approach” to send him back to prison, Judge O’Kelly sought a probation report, adjourning the case to January 23.
The judge wanted “more insight” into what Mr McCarthy said were his client’s efforts to do something about his drinking.
Conditions sought by gardai - including that McCarthy remain of sober habits, abide by a nightly curfew and reside with his sister – were applied by the judge in fixing bail on his own bond of €500.