Saturday 7 December 2019

Woman who twice threatened gardaí with blood-filled syringes avoids jail

Christina Joyce (28) claimed she was pregnant with the devil's baby
Christina Joyce (28) claimed she was pregnant with the devil's baby

Fiona Ferguson

A woman who twice threatened gardaí with blood-filled syringes while she was suffering from drug-induced hallucinations has avoided jail.

Christina Joyce (28) claimed she was pregnant with the devil's baby and told gardaí her life was in danger. Gardai repeated the “Our Father” prayer with her during one of the incidents in an attempt to calm her down.

Joyce, of Cedar House, Marlborough Place, Marlborough Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of making threats to injure gardai with a syringe at Cedar House on November 26 and December 5, 2013.

Judge Patricia Ryan said it was an aggravating factor that the offences were carried out against gardaí acting in the course of their duty and she noted the effect the incidents had on them.

She noted that Joyce's explanation had been that she was hallucinating and she took into account her remorse and the efforts she has since made to rehabilitate herself. The court heard Joyce was now in the early stages of recovery.

Judge Ryan imposed a three year sentence which she suspended on strict conditions.

Sergeant Brendan O'Grady told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to Cedar House hostel on two occasions after Joyce had taken drugs and was acting aggressively.

On both occasions, Joyce pointed blood-filled syringes at gardai, causing them to fear for their safety. She also threatened to kill herself by injecting air into her neck and said she would stab anyone who came near her.

Gardai attempted to calm her during the “tense” situations and on one occasion repeated the “Our Father” with her. She was asked repeatedly to put down the syringes.

Pepper spray was ultimately deployed on both occasions and public order shields were also used during the second incident to disarm her.

Joyce was arrested and brought to Store Street garda station. She said she was hallucinating and felt her life was in danger. She apologised to gardaí.

Sgt O'Grady agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that Joyce had previously received a two-year sentence for similar offences in 2014.

He agreed that she told gardaí she was pregnant with the devil's baby and she thought that there were demons in the gardaí and hostel staff. It was initially thought it may be a mental health issue but later became clear it was drug-induced.

Mr Le Vert said Joyce had a very difficult background including drug misuse and periods of homelessness. She had been the victim of a number of crimes herself.

He said she was released from prison in November 2015 and had not come to any further garda attention since February 2016.

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