herald

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Garda 'dizzy' after man punched him for taking his pint

Tom O’Donnell had set a bad example for his children
Tom O’Donnell had set a bad example for his children

A father-of-five punched a garda three times in the head when he confronted him for walking through Dublin city centre drinking from a pint glass.

Tom O'Donnell (30) was jailed for two months after admitting that the assault that left the garda dizzy was a "bad example to his children".

Judge Paula Murphy suspended a further two months.

O'Donnell, of Abbotstown Avenue, Finglas, also admitted garda obstruction and public drunkenness.

Dublin District Court heard Gda Colin Lenehan was on duty on O'Connell Street at 10.05pm last December 11.

He saw the accused walking with a pint glass and asked him to put it in the bin. O'Donnell refused and proceeded to drink from it, the court heard.

Gda Lenehan tried to take the glass from him and the accused grabbed him. The glass smashed on the ground as a result.

Disorientated

O'Donnell was slurring his speech, was "obviously intoxicated" and the garda attempted to get his details, at which point people began filming the officer with their phones.

O'Donnell became increasingly aggressive and the garda decided to arrest him.

The accused punched him three times to the side of his head, "causing pain and causing me to feel disorientated and dizzy", he said.

It was only with the help of passing gardai that he was able to restrain the accused.

The officer visited a doctor but had suffered only minor bruising.

O'Donnell also admitted twice driving without insurance. He had 55 previous convictions, including two for uninsured driving.

O'Donnell's wife was in court to support him, his solicitor said. The accused suffered from depression and anxiety and had combined his medication with alcohol on the day. He was remorseful.

O'Donnell was "ashamed of himself" and realised he was setting a bad example for his children.

It was a "very serious" offence, the judge said.

O'Donnell was also banned from driving for six years.

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