A MOTORIST jumped into a car that gardaí were about to seize but he said he only did it because the guards were not listening to him and were like “a stone wall.”
But Alan Mannix, with addresses at Bweeng, Mallow, County Cork, Fairfield Green, Farranree, Cork, was convicted today of obstructing gardaí in the course of the incident.
Evidence was given that Mannix had to be pepper-sprayed because he was so obstructive and that garda back-up had to be called.
Gardaí Damien Cremin and Denis O’Sullivan testified that a recovery vehicle was called to the scene in Fairhill to seize the car which had no tax or insurance.
Their attention was also drawn to a second vehicle at the scene that was not part of the case before the court today.
Alan Mannix arrived at the scene and said he was the owner of the car and gardaí told him it was being seized.
Both gardaí testified that Mannix jumped into the car and tried to start it.
Mannix said he only got into the car to prove that he had the key and it was his car and never attempted to start it.
Gardaí said he resisted arrest and had to be pepper-sprayed.
Eddie Burke, solicitor, questioned if pepper-spray needed to be deployed at all.
Mr Burke suggested that the defendant might have been difficult but not aggressive.
Gardaí accepted that he did not shout abuse or use bad language at the scene. However, they said he was uncooperative and lashed out with his arms.
Mannix, aged 37, testified, “It was a swarm of guards around the place. I bought the car that day off a fella, it was his old doll’s car, I think his name was Bernard or something… I was trying to explain (to guards) it was my car, it was like speaking to a brick wall, it was just ignorance there, ‘no comprende’.
“I was trying to explain and prove I owned the car.
"I would not have drove the car out of there. Everything was packed in. I was manhandled very roughly out of the car.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said the bottom line was that Mannix resisted arrest.
The judge convicted him of obstruction.
Inspector Margaret Murrell said the accused had two previous convictions for obstructing gardaí and four for engaging in threatening behaviour.
Judge Kelleher imposed a five-month suspended sentence on the accused.