A LIMERICK city man was this week sentenced to seven days imprisonment for contempt of court.
The defendant, who is aged 32, launched into a foul-mouthed tirade when he appeared before Limerick Court on Tuesday morning after he was charged with assaulting a 30-year-old woman in the city centre almost two years ago.
It is alleged the defendant, who can’t be named as he is currently facing separate rape charges, bit the woman’s thumb during an incident at Patrick Street, on May 2, 2012.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told when he was formally charged on Tuesday morning the defendant told a female garda to “go f*** yourself”.
During the court proceedings the accused, who was flanked in the dock by gardai and prison officers, aggressively protested his innocence accusing the alleged victim of telling lies.
“I was the one assaulted, not her,” he said claiming that he was aware of forensic evidence that would prove his innocence.
As the man continued to use a string of foul language and expletives, the judge warned him he would hold him in contempt of court if he did not stop.
However, the man continued to shout and roar before calling the judge a “f***ing a**hole”.
When he refused to desist the judge ordered that the man be removed from the packed courtroom by gardai.
The man was then placed in the cell area of the courthouse as the judge resumed with the rest of the court list.
When the case was called again a number of hours later, the accused’s solicitor, Sarah Ryan indicated that her client wished to address the court and apologise for his actions.
However, when Judge O’Kelly asked the defendant if his apology to the court was genuine, the man became verbally abusive again and resumed using bad and foul language.
At this point, the judge said he was proposing to hold the defendant in contempt of court.
The judge said the behaviour of the accused man was unacceptable and that he was interfering with the business of the court.
“Law and order must be maintained, particularly in a court of law,” he said as he imposed a seven day prison sentence.
“You are interfering with the administration of justice and you have deliberately insulted the court,” he added.
However, the accused man continued to protest his innocence saying “I don’t care, it’s one law for one and another law for another.”
Sergeant Donal Cronin said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had been consulted in relation to assault charge and he told the court she had consented to summary disposal of the case.
After hearing details of the alleged offence, Judge O’Kelly indicated he would accept jurisdiction of the case.
Ms Ryan, who indicated that her client has behaved in a similar fashion previously, sought disclosure of the potential evidence and the case was adjourned for mention next week.
The defendant is currently on remand awaiting trial at the Central Criminal Court.
He is accused of raping and assaulting a woman during an incident, which took place at a flat near the city centre on May 3, 2013.