herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Garda fight blamed on diabetes fit

WITNESS: Doctor to give evidence

A MAN who struggled so violently with gardai at a Dublin Fas centre that it was like he was "possessed" has insisted he was suffering a diabetic seizure.

Patrick Claffey (32) denies assaulting an officer who came to the scene, where he was thrashing "like a madman".

He is alleged to have assaulted the garda by spitting in his eyes, resulting in the officer having to undergo blood tests.

Claffey, of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin pleaded not guilty at Dublin District Court to assaulting a garda. Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the case to allow the accused's doctor to be called as a witness.

Gardai were called to a disturbance at Bawnogue where it was alleged Claffey smashed windows at the Fas centre and threatened to burn it down.

He was being restrained by members of the public and the gardai handcuffed him as he was violent and shouting profanities.

Mr Claffey kept trying to get up and said "Get your f**king hands off me or you'll be sorry," the alleged victim said.

"He turned his head and spat into my eyes," the garda said. "There was saliva in my eyes, going into my mouth and running down my cheek."

Claffey was put on the ground and he was foaming at the mouth, the garda said.

"He was uncontrollable, he was shouting and roaring like a madman. He said he was going to kill me," he added.

The court heard it was also alleged that he threatened to bite the garda's face.

A second garda witness said Claffey spat all over the back seat of the patrol car and a van had to be called for him.

Defence Barrister Keith Spencer likened Claffey's behaviour to Tourette's syndrome.

"Is this demonic?" Judge Halpin asked. "Are you saying he was possessed? Did he need an exorcist?"

Claffey said: "I rung up (Fas) the next day and they said forget about the windows, look after your diabetes. They said I was like somebody possessed."

aphelan@herald.ie

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