herald

Monday 11 December 2017

'I'll do you next time I see you on your own' - dad's threat to gardai

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

A former career criminal made threats to the lives of gardai during a violent disturbance outside a city pub, a court has heard.

Graham Byrne (43) told off-icers: "I'll do you next time you're on your own." They took this as a direct threat.

Judge Flann Brennan found him guilty of a public order offence and fined him €200.

Father-of-three Byrne, of Digges Street Upper in the south city centre, had denied threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

Gda John Johnston told Dublin District Court he was on duty in the north inner city at 4.10am on July 4 last year when he received a call that urgent assistance was needed outside the Strand pub on North Strand.

He arrived and saw five gardai, four men and three women involved in a "very volatile situation".

He saw Byrne among three men who were in a row with an officer and drew his baton. When told to leave the area, Byrne became immediately aggressive.

Baton

"He said, 'F**k you, who do you think you're talking to? You think you're the big man with your baton out. I'll do you next time I see you on your own'," Gda Johnston said.

"I took this as a threat on my life."

The accused said to Gda Robert Doorley: "I'll do you next time you're on your own on Sheriff Street."

Gda Johnston said he bat-oned Byrne once on the leg.

The accused grabbed hold of his stab-proof vest and he "used necessary proportionate force to get Mr Byrne out of my immediate space".

He struck Byrne a number of times on the body and arms to get him to release his grip.

In cross-examination, he told defence solicitor Dara Robinson he considered the words to be threats "to my safety".

There were no threat-to-kill charges before the court.

Mr Robinson said the garda hit the accused before he made any attempt to strike a garda, and hit him 15 to 20 times.

The garda denied his account was "wildly exaggerated".

Byrne would say he was trying to keep warring parties apart and was set upon by gardai using an inappropriate level of violence, Mr Robinson said.

Byrne had 34 previous convictions, but only for minor offences in recent years.

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