| 0.3°C Dublin

Angry dad called gardai k**ckers and scumbags when they tried to seize daughter's car


Gardai. File picture

Gardai. File picture

Gardai. File picture

A FATHER squared up to gardai and called them "scumbags" and "knackers" after they went to seize his daughter's car, a court heard.

Joe Smith (64) was directed to leave a shopping centre car park four times by officers, but he failed to do so and allegedly tried to rile a crowd that had gathered around them.

Smith denied being aggressive or abusive, claiming he had simply asked gardai what was going on and was arrested.

Judge David McHugh applied the Probation Act. He said Smith was a good father but was over-protective of his daughter and had over-reacted.

The defendant, of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, was found guilty before Blanchardstown District Court of failing to follow the directions of gardai at Tesco, Clearwater, Finglas, last September 2.

Gda Sean P Murphy said he was on mobile patrol when he saw a car parked on double yellow lines at Tesco. He was about to take the details of the car when the owner, the defendant's daughter, made herself known to him.

He told her he was going to seize the car, and she rang her father for his help.

Gda Murphy said that when Smith arrived he "got in my face" and refused to leave the area.

Gda David King claimed Smith called officers "scumbags" and "knackers" and was given four chances to remove himself.

Gda King also said he squared up to Gda Murphy, got in his face and refused to put his hands behind his back so he could be arrested.

In his evidence, Smith said he received a call from his daughter who was "in a bit of a state".

She told him her car was being seized and her child was going to be taken into care.

He said he went up to Tesco, walked up to the gardai, asked what was going on and Gda Murphy immediately got into his face and ordered him to move.

Smith claimed he said "hang on a minute" and was then handcuffed.

He denied he was "in a temper", roaring and shouting at gardai, or that he called them names.

His daughter, Claire Smith, claimed Gda Murphy verbally abused her father, pushed him into a car and arrested him.

The court heard the defendant had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said Smith is a father of four and a grandfather to six children.

He previously worked as a driver and has coached soccer in Finglas for 20 years. Mr Fleming asked the judge to leave Smith without a conviction.

Imposing the Probation Act, Judge McHugh said Smith had no right to do what he did.