Monday 19 February 2018

Convicted killer guilty of 'bizarre' act at Garda station

Store Street Garda Station and inset Mark Bissett at a previous court hearing
Store Street Garda Station and inset Mark Bissett at a previous court hearing

Tom Tuite

A convicted killer has been found guilty of a "bizarre act" after he was arrested for trying to attack a Garda at a Dublin station, a court has heard.

Mark Bissett's began eating his own faeces after he turned violent during a drink and drug fuelled outburst at Store Street Garda station in the city-centre.

Bissett (31) with an address at Loughlinstown Park, in Loughlinstown, Dublin, was jailed for six years in 2005 for killing his uncle David Sutherland in Sallynoggin, Dublin, on December 20, 2003.

Mr Sutherland (54), from Ballybrack, Dublin, was beaten and kicked to death in a drunken row following an accusation by Bissett that Mr Sutherland had killed his aunt.

Mark Bissett at a previous court hearing in 2005
Mark Bissett at a previous court hearing in 2005

Bissett pleaded guilty on Tuesday to breach of the peace, being intoxicated to such an extent he was a danger to himself and others, criminal damage and violent behaviour at Store Street Garda station, on March 3 and March 18 last.

Sentencing was adjourned until October.

Garda James Seymour told Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court that on March 3, Bissett, who has 47 prior criminal convictions, was acting aggressively at the front counter in the station.

The father-of-three attempted to assault the sergeant in charge and he struck Gda Seymour and his colleagues. Judge Smyth was told Gda Seymour had to strike him twice with his baton before they placed him in a cell.

Gda Seymour said Bissett defecated in the cells and “consumed his own faeces” causing a health hazard and damage to cell walls which were covered with excrement and had to be cleaned at a cost of about €400.

The second incident on March 18 happened when Bissett returned to the station in an intoxicated state. He lay on the floor and when asked to leave he began hurling abuse at gardai calling them faggots and c***s”.

The court was given a breakdown of his criminal record: 26 convictions for breach of the peace and being drunk in public; one for obstructing a drug search; one for affray; two for possessing knives; two minor assaults, one for assault causing harm, another for assaulting a garda, three thefts; five robberies; one conviction for manslaughter, one for failing to comply with a Garda's public order caution to leave the vicinity and two for criminal damage.

Defence counsel Emmet Nolan said his client now has mental health issues but is aware that his "bizarre behaviour" at the garda station was unacceptable. He had taken a large quantity of benzodiazepine tablets and alcohol and has no recollection of the incident but is deeply ashamed, the barrister said.

Store Street Garda station. Picture: Google Maps
Store Street Garda station. Picture: Google Maps

The court was told he has little contact with family and he left school at the age of 13.

Mr Nolan said Bissett was using hostels from the age of 15 and has become addicted to benzodiazepine and alcohol. He is currently getting assistance from the Fr Peter McVerry Trust and is receiving treatment for his issues, the court heard.

He has already been referred to the Probation Service for less serious public order charges. He gets €139 a week and wants to pay for cost of cleaning the cell, Mr Nolan said.

Judge Smyth ordered him to pay the compensation and sentencing was adjourned for a probation report to be prepared to see if he is suitable for community service.

“Actually I'd like to do something like that,” Bissett, who was dressed in a T-shirt, runners and shorts, told Judge Smyth.

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