herald

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Man who 'lost plot' and kicked garda feared eviction

Gary Byrne (43) kicked, spat at and tried to headbutt a garda, a court heard.
Gary Byrne (43) kicked, spat at and tried to headbutt a garda, a court heard.

A householder who kicked, spat at and tried to headbutt a garda had "lost the plot" after getting an eviction notice, a court heard.

Gary Byrne (43) had to be pepper-sprayed during the assault, which happened after gardai came to his home and he wrongly thought they were there to "kick him out".

Judge Michael Walsh told him to pay €750 to a garda charity and adjourned the case for a restorative justice programme report.

Byrne, of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to assaulting a garda at Crumlin Garda Station on December 14, 2015.

Dublin District Court heard officers were at his home on the date when Byrne became aggressive and was arrested.

As he was being taken to the station, he remained aggressive and threatened officers a number of times.

Spat

He kicked out at a garda, striking him on the leg below the groin. He then tried to headbutt the officer but failed. Byrne spat in the garda's face, the court heard.

Byrne had no previous convictions and had since apologised for the assault, his barrister Oisin Clarke said.

There had been an issue between Byrne and his partner in relation to house payments, Mr Clarke said.

Money was taken out of a bank account, which resulted in Byrne getting an eviction notice, and this was something he had been "very anxious about".

He thought the gardai had come to kick him out of his house and "lost the plot completely and behaved inappropriately".

Byrne worked in the security industry and had a strong work ethic, Mr Clarke said.

He had never come to the attention of gardai before or since the incident.

Judge Walsh adjourned the case to a date in March.