herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Thug who bit garda attacks prison officers

mountjoy
mountjoy

A violent thug is facing major disciplinary sanctions after he was involved in the brutal assault of two prison officers in Mountjoy.

The men required hospital treatment after Dubliner Gary O'Brien (26) struck one of the officers with a brush head and punched his colleague yesterday morning.

It is not known what caused O'Brien to launch such a brutal frenzy, but sources say that the criminal is known for violent behaviour.

He is serving a three-year sentence after he attacked a garda by repeatedly biting his face for up to five minutes.

Dublin Circuit Court heard that O'Brien attacked Garda Keith Arkins when the garda tried to arrest him as he was breaking into a car.

O'Brien of Rathmines Avenue, Rathmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Garda Arkins in Rathmines on November 11, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage of a car during the same incident.

Garda Laura Loftus explained that she and Garda Arkins moved in to arrest O'Brien and another man after they saw them smash the window of the parked car.

While the second garda was restraining him, O'Brien pulled a knife from his pocket.

Garda Arkins managed to gain control of the knife and forced O'Brien to drop it.

O'Brien then began to punch the garda to the side of his head and ribs before biting down the garda's left cheek and holding on to it.

Garda Arkins tried to prise O'Brien's mouth open but the attacker then bit down on the garda's fingers. He then bit his face again.

The court heard this lasted from three to five minutes before other gardai managed to restrain and arrest O'Brien.

The victim's face was bleeding and he suffered swelling and bruising to his cheek and head.

He had to take anti-HIV medication and undergo blood tests for three months.

O'Brien has 42 previous convictions including assault of a garda, burglary and criminal damage.

Last month, it emerged that almost €4.5m has been paid out in compensation to prison officers who were assaulted or injured in the workplace over the last four years.

kfoy@herald.ie

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