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Man claimed garda car fall would 'fund sun holiday'

A CHARITY shop worker who accused gardai of knocking him down with their patrol car threw himself to the ground and said they would be "paying for his holiday in the Canaries", a court has heard.

Ashley Fitzroy (28) continued to eat a bag of takeaway chips as he lay on the ground. He demanded an ambulance. refused to get back up and hurled abuse at the gardai.

A judge gave Fitzroy a six-month suspended sentence, saying he had lied about what happened on the night.

Fitzroy, of New Street South, Dublin 8, was convicted of public order offences in the incident outside a Temple Bar nightclub.

The accused had denied charges of public drunkenness, breach of the peace, failing to obey garda directions and obstructing the passage of a vehicle at Sycamore Street on August 2, 2010.

Dublin District Court heard Fitzroy also threw himself to the floor of Pearse Street Garda Station after his arrest, despite having walked in the front door.

Garda Brian O'Connor told the court he was driving past Sin Nightclub on the crowded street at 12.45am when he asked the accused, who was standing outside on the roadway, to move.





Lodged

The accused told him to "f**k off", would not move and the garda began to move his car to avoid him.

"He threw himself down on the ground as if I had connected with him," the garda said. "He said, 'you are f***ed now, that is my holiday in the Canaries paid for.'"

Cross-examined by defence lawyer Geraldine Biggs, the garda said he did not believe the accused's foot could have become "lodged" between the patrol car wheel and the kerb.

"I was of the opinion that there was nothing wrong with the gentleman, he was playing up to the crowd," the garda said.

The accused said when the garda asked him to move, he tried to move into the crowd without losing his spot outside the club. He denied telling the garda to "f**k off" and claimed the patrol car struck him from behind.

Fitzroy maintained he fell because he lost balance when his foot, a size 12, got wedged against the kerb.

"I said 'listen, you are after striking me with a garda car, I want you to ring me an ambulance,'" Fitzroy told the court.

He said he had been shocked by the impact and had rolled over on the ground, where his €120 T-shirt got "manky". He believed he had broken his ankle and it turned out to be strained when he attended hospital the following day, he said.

He said he only called gardai "scumbags" when two other officers arrived, stood on his fingers, "toe-poked" him in the ribs and called him "a fat mess".

Gardai denied that this happened.

Judge Ann Watkin said she believed he was telling lies and had a "very bad attitude to law and order".

She suspended the sentence for two years on condition that Fitzroy abstained from alcohol for that time.

aphelan@herald.ie