A BRAY man who headbutted a garda after threatening to find out where the officer lived and poison his children's milk, was jailed for six ...
A BRAY man who headbutted a garda after threatening to find out where the officer lived and poison his children's milk, was jailed for six months at the local district court last Friday.
Brendan Kinlan of 1 Pollard's Terrace, Greenpark Road, Bray, had been charged with assault causing harm and public order offences arising out of an incident which took place on the night of June 21 last.
Garda Mark O'Neill told the court that Kinlan and one other youth had been arrested after an incident near Fatima House at around 11.50pm on Quinsboro Road.
The witness said he and Garda Ronan Mannion had been in an unmarked patrol car on the way to answer a call of a disturbance at Strand Road, when they observed Kinlan being 'unruly' with two others on Quinsboro Road.
Kinlan had come over to the patrol car, approached the rolled down passenger window, made a gesture as if holding a rifle, and said 'I'll blow your f***ing head off.'
The accused and one other youth were arrested for public drunkenness and breaching the peace, and were conveyed to Bray Garda Station, the witness told the court.
Garda O'Neill said that when he was taking Kinlan from the rear of the patrol jeep, the accused said 'that I had made a mistake, and now there would be fun. He said he knew where we lived. This was said in a threatening way.'
As the garda was leading Kinlan to a seat in the hallway at Bray Garda Station, 'he turned around to face me, looked straight at me and headbutted me in the face. I had a cut lip and was bleeding from the nose.'
Kinlan was restrained by other gardai and the accused was still making threats when taken for processing to the member in charge.
'He was still making threats,' said Garda O'Neill. 'He said it would be easy to find out where I lived, and to poison mine and my children's milk. These were general threats.'
Garda O'Neill's evidence was corroborated by other garda witnesses, but solicitor Brendan Maloney stated that key evidence on a specific charge of assault causing harm, had not been included in statements made by garda witnesses.
Mr Maloney alleged that Garda O'Neill had repeatedly called Brendan Kinlan a 'scumbag' and an 'animal', had handcuffed his hands behind his back, pushed him up the steps at Bray Garda Station and forced him into a chair.
'He then turned to confront you, because the abuse was so bad, and when he turned, there was a slight impact on your head,' said Mr Maloney, who said that the alleged actions of the Garda had to do with the officer's 'ill will towards Brendan Kinlan'. All these claims were vigorously denied by Garda O'Neill.
The solicitor also stated that his client had not been charged with threatening behaviour at Bray Garda Station, but Judge Connellan observed: 'The garda' are setting the scene, Maloney. They are trying to paint a picture as to what the temperature was on the occasion.'
The accused himself said that on the night he had been walking home from the pub with two friends and were 'having a laugh', when the garda patrol car swerved in before them.
'I didn't see anything wrong, so I said, ÒFreeze!Ó or ÒBook 'em Danno!Ó or something like that, but then they put me up against a wall,' he stated.
When asked by Inspector Ray Farrell why he had said 'Freeze', Kinlan stated: 'I was having a laugh. Did you ever see ÒStarsky & HutchÓ Ð you know, 'Book 'em, Danno'É'
He admitted calling the garda' 'cowardly ba****rds' on the occasion, and also 'scumbags' and 'animals', but said that he had done this because he had been called those names by the officers.
Kinlan claimed he had been 'fired into a cell with my hands handcuffed behind my back' and was not charged until 5am, when Sgt James Mannion had allegedly thrown his charge sheet at him and slapped him in the face.
Asked why he had not made an official complaint, Kinlan stated: 'I don't want to make youse any more prejudiced against me that you already are. I can't walk down the street without youse stopping me, for some apparent reason.'
Sentencing Kinlan to six months imprisonment for an assault on Garda O'Neill causing harm, Judge Murrough Connellan said that the accused had faced 'something of an uphill battle' attempting to convince the court that the evidence of the garda witnesses was wrong.
Kinlan was also handed down a sentence of three months for using threatening, abusive or insulting language or behaviour at Quinsboro Road on the date in question.
Addressing other charges before the court, Judge Connellan handed down a sentence of three months for breach of a safety order at an address in Wolfe Tone Square West, Bray, on April 21 last.
The judge also imposed a two months sentence and 12 months driving ban when he convicted Kinlan of driving while uninsured at Wolfe Tone Square North on December 30, 1999.
Asked to fix recognisance in the event of an appeal, Judge Connellan set bail in Kinlan's own bond of £300, and one independent surety of £900.