A MAN who attacked a garda by repeatedly biting his face for up to five minutes has been jailed for three years.
Gary O'Brien (24) attacked Garda Keith Arkins when the garda tried to arrest him as he was breaking into a car.
O'Brien of Rathmines Avenue, Rathmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Garda Arkins causing him harm in Rathmines on November 11, 2012.
He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage of a car during the same incident.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a three-year jail sentence.
Garda Laura Loftus told Cormac Quinn, prosecuting, that she and Garda Arkins moved in to arrest O'Brien and another man after they saw them smash the window of the parked car.
While the second garda was restraining him, O'Brien pulled a knife from his pocket.
Garda Arkins managed to gain control of the knife and forced O'Brien to drop it.
O'Brien then began to punch the garda to the side of his head and ribs before biting down the garda's left cheek and holding on to it.
Garda Arkins tried to prise O'Brien's mouth open but the attacker then bit down on the garda's fingers. He then bit his face again.
The court heard this lasted from three to five minutes before other gardai managed to restrain and arrest O'Brien.
The victim's face was bleeding and he suffered swelling and bruising to his cheek and head.
He had to take anti-HIV medication and undergo blood tests for three months.
O'Brien has 42 previous convictions including assault of a peace officer, burglary, criminal damage and burglary.
Garda Loftus agreed with Fiona Murphy, defending, that an apology by O'Brien offered to her for the attack on Garda Arkins days after was genuine.
Counsel said her client has a very serious alcohol abuse problem and was heavily intoxicated on the night.