herald

Friday 22 September 2017

I'll take you all on, heart patient told gardai

A MAN with a heart condition who threatened gardai he would "take them all on" when they saw him shouting at passers-by told a court he was having an angina attack at the time.

James Rock (59) denied that he was drunk, insisting that he could not have alcohol because of his condition and was just "agitated" because of his angina at the time.

Judge Catherine Murphy found him not guilty of public intoxication in the incident in Dublin city centre but convicted him of causing a breach of the peace and put him on a peace bond for a year.

Rock, with an address at Marguerite Road, Glasnevin, had pleaded not guilty to both offences in an incident outside Supermac's on O'Connell Street on September 14, 2011.

Gardai told Dublin District Court the accused was extremely agitated and shouting at members of the public when they pulled up and approached him.

He told them: "I'll take you all on" and was arrested.

Rock said in evidence the only drink he had had that day was Beck's non-alcoholic beer, as he was not allowed to drink under any circumstances because of the medication he was on.

He said he had had three heart attacks and had had the condition for 10 years.

He said when the gardai arrived, they told him: "You are drunk" and he replied: "I'm not drunk, I'm having an angina attack, will you leave me alone".

"I didn't say I would take them on, in the condition I was in, I couldn't take myself on", he insisted.

He said a doctor was called when he was in the station and he was prescribed valium. The accused said this would not have happened if he had been drinking. He denied that he told one of the gardai on the night that he had had three bottles of vodka.

Judge Catherine Murphy struck out the public drunkenness charge saying she had a doubt. However, she convicted the accused of the breach of the peace.

The court heard he had 47 previous convictions but the most recent was in 2006.

Rock was on disability allowance. Putting the defendant on a peace bond, the judge described the episode as "an unfortunate event".

hnews@herald.ie

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