A FORMER member of the armed forces who bit into a garda's arm and punched him in the face while he was violently resisting treatment at a hospital A&E has been jailed for six months.
Father-of-four Thomas McEvoy (53) was a patient at Tallaght Hospital when he injured the garda who was assisting nurses and fire brigade medics in dealing with him.
The accused, who is mobility-impaired, had been admitted for injuring himself in a fall at a funeral but refused treatment because he feared it would jeopardise a pioneering stem-cell procedure he was hoping to undergo in Britain.
Tallaght District Court heard staff at the same hospital had treated him when his leg was shattered in a road accident three years earlier.
McEvoy, with an address at Benbulbin Avenue, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Garda Fiachra Molloy on September 23, 2010.
The court heard the garda had waited nine weeks before getting the all-clear from blood tests following the bite.
Sentencing the accused, Judge James McDonnell said he was taking into account the accused's medical condition but that the assault had been at the upper end of those dealt with at the District Court.
The prosecuting officer told the court he and Garda Molloy were called to the resuscitation room where nurses, security and Dublin Fire Brigade staff were attempting to move McEvoy from the ambulance trolley to a hospital bed.
He was intoxicated and being highly abusive to everyone, and the fire brigade staff were unable to go back to their duties until he left the trolley. The garda said the accused was warned he would be forcibly moved if he continued to refuse to co-operate.
When the gardai went to do this, he punched Garda Molloy in the face and bit his right forearm, breaking the skin.
Garda Molloy had to receive anti-tetanus and painkiller injections, provide blood samples and return to hospital three times.
The accused, who had no previous convictions, was formerly in the army before working as a self-employed driver.
He then suffered a smashed right femur when he was knocked off a motorbike in 2007, his barrister said.
The defendant had brought €500 to court to offer as a charity contribution. The accused was released on bail pending an appeal of the sentence.