A KERRY man who defecated in a cell and smeared the faeces on the peephole to prevent garda observation has been sent to prison.
Judge Denis McLoughlin, sitting in Westport District Court, described the behaviour as "animalistic" and "totally inexcusable".
Matthew Gray, aged 32, of Baurearagh, Kilgarvan, pleaded guilty to a series of public order and criminal damage charges. Defending solicitor David Scott said his client was ashamed and disgusted at his behaviour.
Garda Andy McCabe told the court he was on duty as the member in charge in Westport Garda Station on August 12 last.
At 2.20am, he was in the public office when the buzzer at the front door was activated.
The buzzing continued for a period, as though it was stuck or someone was leaning against it.
He then heard banging and kicking at the front door and opened it to find two men - one of whom was Matthew Gray.
The men entered the station in a robust manner.
They were extremely intoxicated and Gray was agitated. His eyes were wide and staring.
The men claimed they had been taken from Cosy Joe's late bar and assaulted.
They refused to calm down and Gray directed a flurry of abuse towards the garda.
Gda McCabe advised the men to come back the next day if they wished to make a formal complaint about the alleged assault.
Gray continued to hurl abuse and refused to give his personal details, calling Gda McCabe "a fat bastard".
Gray claimed his father was a senior counsel and told the garda "I'll have your job".
Gray was abusive and threatening and left Gda McCabe with no choice but to arrest him.
At 2.30am, he was placed in a cell and again refused to give the garda any personal details for the custody record.
Once in the cell, he began roaring at the top of his voice, thumping and kicking the door.
The second man, who was not before Westport court, was subsequently arrested and he too began roaring in the next cell.
Gray then damaged the fire alarm on the ceiling in his cell, activating the loud siren.
He ripped the mattress and defecated all over the cell, smearing the excrement on the peephole.
He was completely out of control and roared that he would "kill all the gardaí".
He then began to encourage his friend in the next cell to set himself on fire.
Gda McCabe had to call West-Doc and the alarm company, with an engineer from the company travelling from Oranmore.
He continued to monitor the prisoners, opening the door to Gray's cell occasionally as his view through the peephole had been obscured.
In the interim, Gray had thrashed the cell and there was urine and faeces all over the cell. Gda McCabe removed him to another cell, where he also urinated.
The court heard the cost of the call-out from the alarm company was €391.36; cleaning the cell cost €113; the WestDoc call-out cost €139; and the replacement of the mattress cost €221.40.
Gray has nine previous convictions for fraud, larceny, offences against the person and public order.
Mr Scott told the court his client is currently an unemployed electrician and had been in Westport carrying out some work at the time.
He had suffered a bereavement the day before and "went on a binge with his friend".
The solicitor acknowledged this was no excuse for Gray's behaviour.
Judge McLoughlin thanked Gda McCabe for the comprehensive way he gave evidence in the case.
"I'm absolutely horrified at the performance of the defendant on the night. There's no excuse for this and the only option is to send him to prison.
Gray was convicted on two counts of criminal damage and failure to comply with the direction of the gardaí. He was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to compensate the gardaí to the tune of €864.95 for the bills incurred.
Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal to the Circuit Court.