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Friday 18 January 2019

swung

Jail for man who tried to free brother from arrestABUSIVE: Pepper spray used after threats to 'get' gardai

A YOUNG man who claimed he was pepper-sprayed in the groin by gardai after he was taken into custody during a disturbance near his home has been jailed for five months for resisting arrest.

Jamie Byrne (20) was sentenced after a court heard he tried to free his younger brother from the back of a garda patrol car when he came upon the scene.

He also threatened to "get" officers when they were out of uniform.

Gardai had to pepper-spray him in the face to subdue him at the scene and he went on to maintain in evidence that he also had pepper spray applied to his groin at a garda station afterwards.

Byrne, with an address at Tom Kelly Road, Charlemont Street, was found guilty at Dublin District Court of breach of the peace, failing to obey gardai and resisting arrest in the incident on February 9 last.

He had denied making any threats and said he was just trying to see if his brother was in the back of the patrol car when he was pushed away and placed in a "bear hug" by a garda.

His defence also argued that because of his slight build it was "laughable" that he would have been able to free his brother from custody or "visit any harm" on gardai.

Gardai told the court the accused became abusive and told them his brother "wouldn't be going anywhere". He refused to leave the area after caution and told Garda Adam Williams he would "get him" if he came across him without his uniform.

The accused tried to open the patrol car door to release his brother. He swung at gardai as he was handcuffed and was restrained with the use of pepper spray before being taken to Pearse Street station by other gardai.

Byrne's father Michael, arrived at the scene and initially acted as "peacemaker" but then became an "obstacle" to his son's arrest and ended up getting pepper spray in his eyes.

Michael Byrne insisted he only asked the garda to let the accused go before he was pepper-sprayed.

The defendant maintained that he was on his way to a shop when he saw his brother in the patrol car and went over to see him. He claimed a garda pushed him away and said "f*** off you scumbag".

aphelan@herald.ie

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