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'Drunk dad fought gardai with baby under his coat'

A DRUNKEN dad stuffed his six-month old baby son under his jacket and fled from gardai over garden walls after refusing to return the boy to the child's mother, it is alleged.

THE accused nearly dropped the baby several times as he attacked a garda with a tricycle and tried to bite officers during the stand-off in north Dublin, a court was told.

It is alleged that he challenged the gardai to "come and take me to the ground with the baby".

The defendant, who is in his early 20s, appeared in Blanchardstown District Court on charges of child neglect, assaulting a garda and public order breaches. He has not entered a plea in the case yet and had it adjourned to a date next month.

The young man is charged with ill-treating his child in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering, under the Children's Act.

He is also charged with using a tricycle as a weapon, assaulting Garda David Fahy, public intoxication and breach of the peace.

Giving an outline of the prosecution's case, Sgt Mary Doherty told the court the incident happened on a date in September last year.

Gardai were called to a reported domestic incident and allegedly saw the accused running toward them with the baby zipped into his hooded jacket.

He shouted abuse at the patrol car, telling gardai to f**k off, while making gestures with his hands and waving them in an aggressive manner, it was alleged.


The prosecution would maintain the baby slipped from the jacket and the accused moved to catch him so he wouldn't fall.

The accused ran and the gardai chased him because they were in fear for the child's safety. The accused continually told them to "f**k off" and kept saying he would not give the baby back, the court was told.

Gardai believed the accused may have been under the influence of an intoxicant and the baby was crying throughout, while the mother asked the accused to give the child back.

The defendant tried to hit out at the gardai with both hands and the baby again began to fall, it was alleged. The garda went to catch the baby but the accused again managed to catch the child.

He then ran off again, roaring: "Come and take me to the ground with the baby -- come on, fight me."

He allegedly charged at gardai and attempted to bite them, was again asked to return the baby but refused to calm down.

When gardai tried to stop him leaving, it was alleged he picked up a tricycle and threw it at Garda Fahy, hitting him with it. The defendant nearly fell over in the process.

He then started jumping over garden walls, nearly dropping the baby.

He was not holding the child with his hands at any stage, Sgt Doherty alleged. Eventually, Garda Fahy managed to get the child to safety and the defendant was arrested.

Judge Anthony Halpin said he was accepting jurisdiction to deal with the case at District Court level, but added that it was at the "upper end".

Judge Halpin remanded the defendant on continuing bail to appear in court again on May 3.