Thursday 29 September 2016

Tantrum as man in handcuffs demands to see mammy: just another day in District Court

Eimear Cotter

Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30

'Two prisoner officers and three gardai grab the man, as he continues to shout and kick out with his legs and flail his arms. It’s just a normal Monday in Swords District Court.'
'Two prisoner officers and three gardai grab the man, as he continues to shout and kick out with his legs and flail his arms. It’s just a normal Monday in Swords District Court.'

Stop talking. There is to be silence in court, please. The courtroom shushes as the words of Judge Dermot Dempsey echo through Swords District Court.

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The court clerk calls the name of the next defendant, and he makes his way to the dock.

His lawyer starts to ask for the case to be adjourned but a handcuffed man in his 20s sitting on the prisoners bench distracts him.

He is arguing and gesturing to a garda.

At first, it's just angry whispers. But then, as the garda tries to quieten him and calm him down, he stands up and shouts, "no, f**k you, no".

The man in handcuffs then shouts "There's to be f**kin silence". The man has everyone's attention now.

As gardai and prisoner officers try to calm him, the man turns and kicks out in a rage at the solicitors bench.

The vibrations as the old wooden bench shakes with the force of the kick which can be felt throughout the courtroom.

The solicitors, shocked, jump to safety.

Two prisoner officers and three gardai grab the man, as he continues to shout and kick out with his legs and flail his arms.

He is taken to the ground, and walked - bent over double as that is safest for everyone - out of court.

The paint has chipped off and the wood in the old bench has splintered.

The reason for his behaviour? The man wanted to be able to see his mammy.

Earlier he had been remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison after allegedly robbing a petrol station at the weekend. He is due before Cloverhill court later this week - as is the norm for prisoners in custody in Dublin - but he demanded to appear before Swords court.

When asked why he wanted Swords court, he said his mother lives in Swords and would not be able to get to Cloverhill.

It's just a normal Monday in Swords District Court.

The next couple of cases are adjourned for various reasons - a garda off injured and a defendant in custody who has not been produced.

Next up is a 23-year-old man from Lucan.

Eddie Maughan admits to a breach of the peace after gardai were called to a melee involving up to 20 men in Donabate last April.

The court hears the men were fighting on the Main Street in Donabate at 1am in the morning.

Garda David Byrne said he saw Maughan, of Rosse Court Way in Lucan, wrestling with another man.

When the defendant saw him, he ran towards Gda Byrne with his hands raised, as if to strike him.

Maughan's lawyer Patrick Jackson said his client, a married father of one, had a lot to drink and has no memory of the incident.

He asked Judge Dempsey to be lenient, saying Maughan has suffered a lot of tragedy in his life, and has lost many members of his extended family due to addiction.

Judge Dempsey told Maughan he "will not have this thuggery going on in Donabate". He ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing.

It's just a normal Monday in Swords District Court.

Irish Independent

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