herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Drunk mum was pepper sprayed by gardai on street

Zanele Ahmed was pepper-sprayed by gardai
Zanele Ahmed was pepper-sprayed by gardai

A mother-of-one became so drunkenly belligerent in a street disturbance that gardai had to pepper spray her, a court heard.

Zanele Ahmed (37) - an unemployed care assistant - was threatening and abusive with gardai on Dublin's quays. She admitted public drunkenness and causing a breach of the peace.

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Judge Conal Gibbons gave her a three-month suspended sentence and fined her €100. He said sending her to jail "did cross my mind". The court heard the offences happened at Wellington Quay on April 13 last, and that she hit the window of a taxi during the incident.

Judge Gibbons said he considered alcohol to be an aggravating factor rather than a mitigating one in the case.

On the use of pepper spray, he said gardai only deployed it when they felt they had to.

The judge said the case was "peculiar" because the offences in question were not, in his experience, normally committed by people like Ahmed.

The court heard Ahmed, of Mountjoy Square, Dublin 7, apologised for what happened, and that she had a number of previous convictions.

"This is a very serious offence because it's a continuation of a pattern of conduct which isn't doing your client any good, or anybody else any good," the judge said.

"She has a problem with alcohol. Sending her to prison wouldn't do her any good, but it did cross my mind."

He suspended the sentence for two years.

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