Garda's shoulder 'popped' in assault by drunk grandad
An arthritic grandfather caused severe damage to a garda's shoulder after he tried to pull him over a wall during a dispute with his next door neighbour.
Thomas Knox (64) was highly intoxicated when he pulled down his neighbour's fence and then assaulted a garda who was called to the scene, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.
Knox, of Tuscany Downs, Raheny, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Garda Shane Buckley and to criminal damage on May 13, 2014.
Judge Pauline Codd suspended a sentence of three years on condition that Knox addresses his issues with alcohol and engages in a victim awareness programme.
Garda Sarah Connaughton told Eilis Brennan, prosecuting, that Knox's neighbour, a woman of around his age, arrived home in the afternoon to find part of her back garden fence had been pulled down.
The court heard Knox came out and shouted: "That's my f***ing wall and I'm going to knock it all down."
Gda Connaughton and Gda Buckley arrived at the scene and spoke to the woman. Gda Buckley knocked on Knox's door and spoke to him briefly.
He smelled intoxicating liquor on Knox's breath and left after he was verbally abused.
A few minutes later, when Gda Buckley was in the back garden taking photographs of the damaged fence, Knox re-emerged and started shouting.
He then grabbed Gda Buckley's arm and tried to pull him over the wall.
"He had a tight hold of Gda Buckley's arm and he felt his shoulder pop," Ms Brennan said.
Gda Buckley shouted for help and Gda Connaughton came out and pepper-sprayed Knox.
He was handcuffed but refused to walk to the garda van and had to be dragged into it.
Gda Buckley suffered a significant tear to his shoulder cartilage and had to undergo surgery to repair it, Ms Brennan said.
In a victim impact report, Gda Buckley said that, although he returned to work some months after the assault, he was currently on leave due to mental health issues. He said the incident was "traumatising and frightening".
Defence barrister David Staunton said Knox worked as a taxi driver for several years before he was forced to stop working due to ill health.
He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, heart problems and depression and had been on disability benefit for the last 17 years.