herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Coma survivor banned from pubs for 6 months

A COMA survivor who had to be pepper-sprayed when he hurled drunken threats at gardai has been banned from all pubs in Dublin for six months.

Paul Bermingham (53) was also given a one-month suspended sentence for public order offences in the incident near his home.

Judge Alan Mitchell imposed an order excluding Bermingham from all licensed premises in the capital when he pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court.

The accused, of Drumfinn Avenue, Ballyfermot admitted charges of public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot on August 8 last.

Sgt Sheryl Woulfe told the court gardai were on duty outside LeFanu Park at 8.32pm when the accused shouted at the patrol car aggressively. He smelled strongly of alcohol and told the officers to "f*** off".

When told to calm down, he picked up a glass bottle and told gardai he would "show them". The officers warned he would be pepper-sprayed but he "raised his hand in a way that indicated he would throw the bottle".

The accused was sprayed but continued to tell the gardai he would "show them" as he was being brought to Ballyfermot Garda Station.

Bermingham had previous convictions, but most were for motoring offences.

There had been an altercation on the night and he believed he should have been allowed stay in the area, his solicitor Lorraine Stephens said.

He was pepper-sprayed very badly, was blinded for two hours and his behaviour at that stage was "more trying to tell gardai he couldn't see", Ms Stephens said.

The court heard the defendant had been in a coma for two weeks in December last year after a bad accident and had "difficulties from a cognitive point of view" afterwards.

The judge said he would have jailed Bermingham if he had contested the case. He suspended the sentence for six months. The pub ban was because of his "behaviour to the gardai".

hnews@herald.ie

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