herald

Monday 18 November 2019

Coach who struck garda 'had fit' as he was being arrested

Football coach Thomas Kinch was jailed for three months
Football coach Thomas Kinch was jailed for three months

A football coach who punched a garda in the face as his girlfriend's car was being seized claimed he had an epileptic fit as he was arrested.

Thomas Kinch (34) hit the officer with "considerable force" after laughing and telling gardai "you're going to need more than this" when back-up arrived.

Denying charges including assault and obstruction, Kinch claimed he hit a different garda to protect his girlfriend, who he claimed had been headbutted by that officer.

Kinch, of Cherry Orchard Avenue, Ballyfermot, was found guilty and jailed for three months, with another three months suspended.

Dublin District Court heard that on July 15, 2017, gardai were seizing Jamie Reynolds' car at Cherry Orchard Green.

Kinch roared: "You're not taking the f**king car."

As they restrained him, he punched Gda Stephen Kelly "with considerable force" and Gda Linda Ryan pepper-sprayed him.

Squaring

Gda Kelly said Kinch was "squaring up" to officers.

"He struck me with a closed fist on the left side of my face," he said.

After he was pepper-sprayed, Kinch screamed and kicked out. Gda Kelly did not recall Ms Reynolds saying Kinch was having a seizure.

Gardai rejected Kinch's claim that Ms Reynolds was headbutted. 

Ms Reynolds alleged that Gda O'Keeffe "pushed me with his head" and Kinch struck him, saying: "You shouldn't be hitting females."

She maintained Kinch's eyes began rolling and she told gardai he was epileptic.

Kinch alleged that Gda O'Keeffe struck Ms Reynolds and "I had the natural reaction for any male when a female is being assaulted".

He said he hit Gda O'Keeffe once in defence of his girlfriend.

Being maced had a "catastrophic effect" on him and he went into an epileptic fit while gardai used excessive force, he claimed.

Kinch, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2009, denied hitting Gda Kelly.

Bail terms were set in the event of an appeal.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News