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Mum in garda van flowerpot attack shocked at jail sentence

A woman has been jailed for breaking the windscreen of a garda van with a flowerpot after complaining that Christmas toys donated to her children were not enough.

Mother-of-three Nan Connors (44) told the Herald that the 30-day sentence handed down to her at Tallaght District Court was too severe for her crime, despite the fact that she served just 48 hours behind bars before being released.

But she admitted to the Herald that she over-reacted and was in the wrong, after discovering the toys were only for her youngest child.

Connors came to the attention of gardai at her home in Kilcarrig Green in Tallaght on December 21, 2008.

Last week, evidence was given that she cracked the front window of the garda community van with the flowerpot, and that she was lucky she didn't cause injury to the gardai.

The court also heard that Connors smashed the front passenger window of the garda van after she punched it three times.

The judge said he was "horrified" by Connor's behaviour and sentenced her to 30 days in prison.

"I was never in trouble with the law before, and I thought I might get a fine or a suspended sentence," Connors said.

"The legs nearly went from under me when I heard the sentence. I think it was too much considering what I had done. I had no record before this," she added.

In the end, Connors served just two days of her sentence before being released, but now has to sign on at Tallaght garda station.

She admitted before Tallaght District Court to public drunkenness and threatening and abusive behaviour, as well as the criminal damage in the incident outside her home.

Sergeant Carmel Henry gave evidence that gardai were delivering Christmas toys to children in the Tallaght area and called to Connors' home with a box of toys.

Sgt Henry said Connors came out of the house and handed back the toys to Garda Darren Rooney, complaining there wasn't enough of them.

The sergeant said Connors was drunk and shouted insults at gardai. She then punched the front passenger window of the garda van, smashing the window.

Sgt Henry said Garda Rooney turned the garda van to drive away but Connors stood in the middle of the road holding a large ceramic flowerpot, and threw it at the van, cracking the front window.

The damage to the vehicle was €395. The court heard that Connors had no previous convictions.