A YOUNG man who assaulted two gardai while in custody at Limerick Courthouse was sentenced to a total of 11 months imprisonment.
Dean Price, aged 25, who has an address at Sean Heuston Place pleaded guilty to biting Garda Wayne O’Callaghan at the courthouse on Merchant’s Quay on October 24, last.
He also admitted kicking Garda Richie Quigley a number of times in the groin on the same date.
Limerick Court was told that both gardai were assaulted after they tried to remove a mobile phone from Price, who had been remanded in custody in relation to separate offences.
The skin was broken on Garda O’Callaghan’s hand and Sgt Donal Cronin said he had to receive medical treatment at the Mid Western Regional Hospital afterwards.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly described the offence as “outrageous” and he said “significant upset and worry” had been caused to Garda O’Callaghan who had to undergo blood tests as a precaution.
Solicitor John Devane said his client, who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for other offences, regrets his actions and he told the court Price acknowledges that “it should never have happened”.
Mr Devane told the court that Price, who has more than 100 previous convictions, is “actively taking part in extra curricular” activities at Limerick Prison and that he is “trying to get his life together”.
While acknowledging that Price is engaging with the prison authorities and that he is pursing his education, Judge O’Kelly noted that last October he decided not to activate a suspended prison sentence, which he imposed on Price last summer.
He said on that occasion he had “listened carefully” to submissions made by Mr Devane on behalf of Price and, after referring to his notes, the judge commented that Mr Devane had put forward many of the same arguments during his plea of mitigation in relation to the assault.
Judge O’Kelly said the consequences for Garda O’Callaghan could have been appalling following the assault and he said he had no alternative but to activate the suspended six-month prison sentence.
The judge imposed a five month sentence in relation to the assault on Garda O’Callaghan and he imposed a three month sentence in relation to the assault on Garda Quigley.
He ordered that both sentences should be served consecutively to the six month sentence, which was activated.