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Monday 15 October 2018

Bride-to-be kicked garda and tried to bite her after Prosecco bender

Martha Sanchez (29) was spared a prison sentence after volunteering to donate €2,000 to charity
Martha Sanchez (29) was spared a prison sentence after volunteering to donate €2,000 to charity

A bride-to-be assaulted a female garda and tried to bite her, leaving a blood-stained saliva mark on her uniform, after she became "hopelessly" drunk celebrating her engagement with a bottomless brunch.

Dublin woman Martha Sanchez avoided a prison sentence after she made a "substantial" charitable donation.

Judge Dermot Dempsey said he "seriously considered" a custodial sentence.

Sanchez celebrated her engagement with a bottomless brunch - where a meal is paid for and an unlimited amount of Prosecco is served - but was arrested after she and a friend refused to pay a taxi fare of €30.

Swords District Court heard that the 29-year-old, who works in the marketing department of a car hire company, took a taxi from Ranelagh in south Dublin to Swords, Co Dublin, and had agreed to pay €30 to the cab driver.

But when they arrived in Swords, the pair refused to pay the money.

Sanchez claimed that she "didn't remember much bar being in the restaurant" and a misunderstanding broke out, marred by being hopelessly drunk.

Gardai were called and Sanchez, whose parents are a teacher and doctor in Spain, refused to acknowledge gardai - calling them "assholes and c**ts".

She continued to shout and tried to persuade her friend to walk away with her.

"She went to an ATM and took out €20 but refused to pay the taxi driver, saying she had no money," Garda Kieran McGroder told the court.

As Sanchez attempted to walk away she continued to verbally abuse gardai and ended up being arrested.

Abuse

When she was brought to Swords Garda Station she started to hurl abuse at Garda Elaine Duffy, calling her a b***h on multiple occasions.

She then tried to run out of the station but pulled the door into herself, causing an injury.

When Gda Duffy attempted to administer first aid, Sanchez kicked her and attempted to bite her, leaving a blood-stained saliva mark on her uniform.

The defendant, of Swords Central, Main Street, Swords, pleaded guilty to violent behaviour in a garda station, assault, being intoxicated and using threatening and abusive behaviour on December 16, 2017.

She has no previous convictions.

On hearing the evidence in the case, Judge Dempsey remarked that the assault charge against her "should have been a more serious charge for viciously assaulting the garda and attempting to bite her".

Sanchez's barrister said her client, who has since married her fiance, wasn't able to handle the amount of alcohol and didn't drink any more.

"She is ashamed to say she doesn't remember much bar being in the restaurant," the barrister added.

"It is out of character and such is her shame only her friend and her husband are aware of what happened.

"Her parents, a teacher and a doctor in Spain, don't know about the incident.

"It has had a lasting effect on her and she is taking it all very seriously and is ashamed," the barrister said, adding that Sanchez had a "significant amount of money with her" for a charitable donation if the court saw fit.

Custody

Judge Dempsey placed the defendant in custody for an hour before making his decision on the case, saying: "She viciously assaulted a garda and attempted to bite her.

"I am seriously considering a custodial sentence for biting and assaulting a garda who went to her assistance.

"It's a despicable act and she can't hide behind being drunk and not remembering."

When the barrister said the defendant had €2,000 with her, Judge Dempsey said he would allocate €1,000 to the Hope Foundation and €1,000 to St Francis Hospice.

He applied Section 1.1 of the Probation Act, leaving the defendant without a conviction but remarked that she was "lucky she had a substantial amount of money" with her.

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