Gardaí put towel around man’s face to stop spitting

Gardaí put towel around man’s face to stop spitting

AN aggressive man who had just attacked his partner at their home would not stop spitting at gardaí who arrived at the scene – so much so that they put a towel around his face in an effort to stop him.

Sergeant Tom O’Halloran gave evidence yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court of the aggressive behaviour from Artur Szklarczyk, 38, where the accused pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting his former partner and three counts of engaging in obstructive behaviour with gardaí.

The incident occurred on August 15, 2018. All of the assaults carried out on the woman took place within a minute in a bedroom at the house in Midleton.

“He caught her by the hair and smashed her head off the ground. He hit her a number of times in the face. He punched her in the face,” Sgt. O’Halloran said.

Detective Garda Garda Cormac O’Bric, Garda Michael Hynes and Sgt. O’Halloran all responded to a call to the scene that night.

“He was drunk and aggressive. He was informed he was being arrested. He would not release his hands to be handcuffed.

“We put him on the ground. He spat at Garda O’Bric, hitting him in the side of the face. He kept trying to spit at us. We had to put a towel over his face to stop him when he was spitting at us.

“Even with the arrival of the paddywagon he continued to spat at gardaí,” Sgt. O’Halloran said.

Ray Boland said the accused pleaded guilty to the charges as long ago as November 2019.

“He has recently come to employment. He is anxious to raise compensation for the gardaí involved. His difficulty is drink.” 

Sgt. O’Halloran agreed and said, “When he is after drink he can be somewhat volatile.” Mr Boland BL said the defendant could get into domestic disputed after drink. Sgt. O’Halloran said the injured party in this case was not interested in giving evidence.

Mr Boland said, “He has been a thorn in the side for gardaí. He would like to raise compensation for the gardaí.” 

Judge Brian O’Callaghan agreed to put sentencing back until April 24 on condition that the defendant would reside at The Rocklands, Carrigtohill, County Cork, abstain from alcohol and sign on at Midleton garda station every Tuesday and Thursday.” The judge gave the state liberty to re-enter the case if there was any difficulty from the accused.

In terms of the adjourned sentence, the judge said, “No promise is being made by the court… These were serious assaults on a lady in the privacy of her bedroom.”

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