herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

'Rebel' ex-soldier spared prison for drunken rampage

Ronen Tollman said he ‘sometimes struggles with authority’
Ronen Tollman said he ‘sometimes struggles with authority’

A former international rugby player and Israeli soldier has been spared jail for a public order rampage in Dublin in which he assaulted and threatened gardai.

Ronen Tollman (31), who admitted he was "a bit of a rebel", was given a six-month suspended sentence for the drink-fuelled episodes.

Dublin District Court heard he wrapped a belt around his fist and threatened gardai in one incident and assaulted another officer by spitting on him.

Judge Michael Walsh suspended the sentence for a year on condition he gets treatment.

Tollman, of Gurteenroe Place, Millstreet Road, Macroom, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to assault, theft and public order offences.

Before sentencing, Tollman said he was both Israeli and Irish and had served in the Israeli army voluntarily for three years.

"Yes, I am a little bit of a rebel and sometimes I struggle with authority, but I'm a good person," he said, adding that he was trying to get back in shape so he could return to representing Israel in rugby.

Intelligent

Judge Walsh said Tollman seemed to be "an intelligent man who has fallen a little bit by the wayside".

Defence solicitor Michael French said his mother was willing to let him stay with her.

Earlier, the court heard that on August 23, gardai found Tollman intoxicated and shouting abuse on St Stephen's Green.

He took the belt from his trousers, wrapped it around his fist and threatened gardai.

He fled, was caught and "put up some resistance".

On August 11, he was found drunk and with a pair of sciss-ors, running up to people in Temple Bar and shouting.

On August 12, he stole €909 worth of clothes from Brown Thomas on Grafton Street and became threatening to security staff before attempting to kick and punch out at gardai.

On August 17, Tollman was walking through Temple Bar, drinking a large glass of wine. When approached by gardai, he became aggressive and had to be pepper-sprayed.

He was at Pearse Street Garda Station when he assaulted a garda by spitting at him. He had no previous convictions.

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