News Courts

Monday 15 September 2014

Garda punched in the face by school student, court told

Eimear Cotter

Published 03/07/2014 | 15:08

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Courts of Criminal Justice

A SCHOOL student punched a garda in the face in a random, unprovoked attack, a court heard.

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Thomas Finnegan (18) had been reprimanded for making "gestures" at the officer, who was organising for a car to be towed.

A court heard he ran away from gardai but was arrested at his home a short distance away.

Assault

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain imposed a two-month sentence suspended for two years.

The defendant, of Whitestown Avenue in Mulhuddart, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to assaulting Garda Richard Thornton.

The assault took place at a car park at Blanchardstown Retail Park on June 4, 2013.

Sergeant Maria Callaghan said gardai were dealing with another incident at the time and were waiting for a car to be towed.

Sgt Callaghan said Finnegan stood behind gardai, making gestures at them.

She said he also became aggressive towards officers.

Sgt Callaghan said Gda Thornton went to speak to Finnegan but was punched in the face by him.

The sergeant said Gda Thornton did not suffer any injuries during the assault.

She said that Finnegan fled from the scene but he was pursued by officers to his home where he was arrested.

Finnegan also admitted taking a bicycle at Westend Retail Park on November 7, 2013 and a second bike at Westpoint Gym on November 8, 2013.

He further admitted damaging the locks on the two bikes and to handling a stolen red and grey Redwood mountain bike, worth €1,500, and an Apollo bike, worth €250, at his home on November 8, 2013.

Sgt Callaghan said the stolen bikes were recovered after gardai obtained a warrant and searched Finnegan's home. The bikes were later returned to their owners.

The court heard Finnegan has a number of previous convictions and is currently serving a nine month sentence.

Defence solicitor Kelly Breen said Finnegan is not due for release until December 20, and he is finally realising his actions have consequences.

Ms Breen said this is Finnegan's first sentence, and nine months is quite a long sentence for a young man.

She asked the judge not to add to his time in custody.

shock

She said it is hoped going into prison might prove to be the "shock" Finnegan needs to realise he cannot continue with his offending behaviour.

Ms Breen said the defendant has battled addictions to cannabis and tablets, but is now clear of all illegal substances.

She said Finnegan has signed up to attend school in custody, and is hoping to complete his Leaving Certificate.

Ms Breen said the defendant is attending the gym, and following a training programme.

She also said he has the support of his family.

hnews@herald.ie

Irish Independent

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