herald

Sunday 22 January 2017

Man told Garda he would 'box her head off if she was a man'

John Murdiff ‘appears to have a propensity for violence’
John Murdiff ‘appears to have a propensity for violence’

A man who violently resisted arrest by gardai told one officer he would have "boxed the head off her" if she was not a woman.

John Murdiff's struggle with officers on a city street descended into a "wrestling match", Dublin District Court heard.

Judge Bryan Smyth said Murdiff (30) seemed to have a "propensity for violence" and adjourned the case for a proba- tion report.

Murdiff, of Kippure Park, Finglas, pleaded guilty to garda obstruction.

He also admitted public intoxication and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour during the incident at the Central Bank plaza on Dame Street last February 20.

Gda John Sharkey told the court he encountered Murdiff and spoke to him in relation to an alleged assault that had happened a short time before. In the course of the encounter, gardai asked Murdiff to identify himself.

At this, the accused became verbally abusive and violent. They tried to arrest him as he "vigorously resisted".

It "turned into a wrestling match" between the accused and the gardai, with one officer thrown to the ground.

Squirming

Gda Erin Lee restrained Murdiff from behind and he struggled, swinging his arms constantly and squirming.

"He told Gda Lee if she hadn't been a female he would have 'boxed the f**king head off her'," said Gda Sharkey.

"He very clearly had a good bit to drink in the build-up to our encounter."

The court heard Murdiff had been "senseless drunk" and had to be carried to a cell in a garda station. He had previous convictions for assault.

"He appears to have a propensity for violence," Judge Smyth said.

Murdiff had not been suspected of involvement in the original alleged assault but had been in the vicinity, his lawyer said.

Gda Sharkey said he believed the accused had seen what happened.

Murdiff's father died in 2008 and his brother died after a road accident, his lawyer said.

The accused went through a bad period, abusing alcohol and sleeping pills. He was now in a stable relationship and his girlfriend was pregnant.

Judge Smyth adjourned the case for probation and community service suitability reports.

He warned Murdiff that he would get a custodial sentence if he came to garda attention in the meantime.

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