A GARDA was kicked in the groin while arresting a man seen brandishing an axe in Ballinacurra Weston in the early hours.
Paul O’Donoghue, 49, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Nick Jones and to possession of a weapon outside his home at Clarina Park on June 1, 2011.
Sgt Donal Cronin told Limerick District Court that gardai saw O’Donoghue standing on the street with the axe in his hand.
“On seeing the gardai, he ran in his front door. He started shouting at the gardai who pursued them that he would kill him if they entered his property. The gardai drew their batons and asked him to desist. He did drop the axe as requested,” Sgt Cronin told Judge Eugene O’Kelly.
O’Donoghue had lashed out as he was being put in a patrol car, kicking Garda Jones in the groin.
Solicitor John Devane said that his client kept the axe permanently in his front garden to chop up pallets for firewood.
“Are you saying he was engaged in this activity at 2.30am?” asked Judge O’Kelly.
Mr Devane said his client had no recollection of the events.
Taking the witness box, Mr O’Donoghue apologised for his conduct and assured the court he had been off the drink for six weeks. He was now back working, engaged in the demolition of properties under the regeneration programme.
Judge O’Kelly asked O’Donoghue why he had failed to appear in court to answer the charges on three previous occasions, to be told by the accused he had forgotten.
“You forgot three times?” asked the judge.
“My head’s not great for dates,” he replied.
O’Donoghue was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months.