Wednesday 28 September 2016

Gardai had to pepper spray dad-of-six in a shopping centre who was 'howling like a wolf'

Andrew Phelan

Published 22/07/2015 | 07:32

The Courts of Criminal Justice
The Courts of Criminal Justice

GARDAI had to pepper spray a father-of-six who was so drunk in a shopping centre that he was "howling like a wolf".

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John Greene (48) lunged at gardai as he screamed abuse at them at the top of his voice, a court heard.

Judge Timothy Lucey gave him a three-month suspended sentence.

Greene, of Roseglen Avenue, Kilbarrack, had pleaded not guilty to public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Edenmore Shopping Centre on March 24 last.

Gardai were called to a report of anti-social activity around a shop, but this had nothing to do with the accused.

When they arrived, Greene approached them in a "dishevelled" state and began to verbally abuse them.

A garda sergeant said Greene was "unstable on his feet, wobbling all over the place and roaring at the top of his voice".

In cross-examination, the sergeant told defence solicitor Tony Collier "howling like a wolf would be one way to describe it".

The court heard the accused lunged at gardai and one officer had to pepper-spray him before bringing him to the ground.

He had been in the garda's "personal space" and was warned before the pepper spray was used.

"He just would not go away, it was a very bad situation," the sergeant said.

Greene struggled violently and was brought back to his feet before being taken to the patrol car. The court heard he refused to give gardai any details and they had to contact his daughter.

The garda who pepper sprayed the accused told the court he only did this as a last resort.

Mr Collier argued that there needed to be some element of criminal intent to prove the breach of the peace charge.

Judge Lucey found Greene guilty and suspended the sentence for two years, saying of the accused: "I think he has to change his tune."

Herald

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