Man struck officer with baseball bat during row

By Andrew Phelan

A FATHER of one struck a garda with a baseball bat during a melee at his home when officers arrived to arrest a family member.

Kevin Sutcliffe (38) ran down the stairs and began swinging the bat, hitting one of the gardai on the hand.

Judge James Faughnan gave him a three-month sentence at Dublin District Court after he paid €500 compensation.

Sutcliffe, with an address at Rutland Avenue Flats, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to assaulting a garda and unlawful possession of a baseball bat last April 6.

The court heard gardai went to Seagull House, Rutland Avenue, with the intention of arresting another man over a suspected robbery.

They knocked on the door and a female occupant answered. Immediately, two men came to the door and the gardai were "met with aggression and verbal abuse".

The men refused the gardai entry. At this point, the accused ran down the stairs wielding a baseball bat and proceeded to swing it at the gardai.

He was restrained by his brother on the stairs, the court heard.

Sutcliffe continued to verbally abuse and threaten the gardai, several of whom drew their batons. One garda took out his pepper spray and warned the accused to get back or he would discharge it.

Sutcliffe swung the bat at him, hitting him on the right hand and injuring him.

The hand was bruised and swollen after the incident and the garda was off work for a week.

Sutcliffe had several previous convictions.

The court heard gardai had been seeking a man to arrest, there was a melee at the front door and Sutcliffe "came last into it".

Sutcliffe had got carried away on the day and was making no excuses, his solicitor Michael Hanahoe said. He apologised.

Judge Faughnan ordered the accused to pay €500 compensation to the garda and suspended the sentence for a year.