'You cannot assault the gardaí'

'No court can tolerate an assault on gardaí', a district court judge warned on Friday as he handed down a double conviction to a 21-year-old Kenmare man for assaulting two gardaí 'in a nasty manner' last year .

The apprentice plumber, who the court was told would like to travel, was lucky not to be spending months in jail, Judge James O'Connor said at Cahersiveen District Court.

Adrian Larkin, Elm Close, Pairc na Gloine, Kenmare aged 21, was arrested at The Square, Kenmare on April 2, 2016, for breach of the peace and drunkenness, the court heard.

He resisted arrest and in the course of the matter at Kenmare Garda Station he kicked Garda Seán Twomey into the shins and gave him a black eye. He also spat at Garda Seán O'Regan.

He pleaded guilty to the two counts of assaulting the gardai, along with pleas to public drunkenness and breach of the peace and resisting arrest.

Judge James O'Connor had remanded Mr Larkin in custody from Kenmare on Friday to appear before Cahersiveen on Thursday.

There was an 'understanding' that the spell in jail for just under a week might result in the Probation Act being applied to allow the young man who was hard working to avoid a conviction, his solicitor Brendan Ahern said

A conviction would affect travel to places like Australia, the solicitor added.

However, Judge James O'Connor told Mr Ahern that his client had done well in not being sent to jail for months.

"You cannot assault the Gardaí," he stated, adding: "This was a nasty assault, there was nastiness involved in spitting at Garda O'Regan. No court can let anyone out the door without a conviction for assaulting a Garda." The same held for ambulance and other personnel, he continued.

Mr Ahern argued strongly that his client had a difficult background, had only minor road traffic convictions and was two years into his plumbing apprenticeship.

The injuries were not serious.

"This is a hard working young fellow," Mr Ahern said, asking perhaps for an adjournment of the decision.

However, Judge O'Connor refused. He convicted Mr Larkin - who is now living in his native Westport, County Mayo - on both counts of assault, taking the other charges into consideration. He was fined €700.

"You'd be in jail for five to six months in any other court! You did well!" Judge O'Connor concluded.

Kerryman

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