Teenager who spat at garda jailed for 'campaign of assaults'

Teenager who spat at garda jailed for 'campaign of assaults'

18-year-old Anthony Butler of 5 Churchfield Terrace East, Churchfield, Cork, was jailed by Judge Olann Kelleher who described the defendant’s actions from July 2019 to October 2020 as a campaign of assaults. Picture: iStock

A Cork teenager spat in the face of a garda earlier in the Covid pandemic and today he was jailed for ten months for this and “his campaign of assaulting innocent people at random.” 

18-year-old Anthony Butler of 5 Churchfield Terrace East, Churchfield, Cork, was jailed by Judge Olann Kelleher who described the defendant’s actions from July 2019 to October 2020 as a campaign of assaults.

“These are very serious matters obviously,” Judge Kelleher said at Cork District Court. The judge said the most serious of the multiple incidents was the assault causing harm to Sergeant David McNamara who was struck in the eye and injured at Ashdale House in Blarney.

Sergeant Pat Lyons outlined the long list of offences committed by the accused including several counts of assault.

The first one occurred on the 215 bus at 8.30 pm on July 12, 2019, at Tower. A man who was deaf was sitting upstairs when two young men sitting behind him threw chips at the back of his head. When he gestured for them to stop the defendant approached him.

“He squared up and punched him in the face. In the second punch he broke his glasses. The second youth did not take any part in this,” Sgt. Lyons said.

While this was the first of the assaults the most recent occurred on October 10, 2020, outside a fast food outlet in Blarney where he was found to be aggressive. He refused to calm down for gardaí who decided to arrest him.

“The defendant violently resisted arrest. During the arrest Sergeant Damian McNamara suffered a blow to his right eye resulting in a laceration. The defendant spat into Garda Seán O’Dwyer’s face and trainee Garda Brian Ramsey was bitten on the arm,” Sgt. Lyons said.

There was an earlier assault on a member of An Garda Síochána on December 31, 2019, at the Regional Park, Ballincollig, County Cork, when Garda Patrick Casey was struck in the chest by Anthony Butler with both fists.

“This had the effect of knocking Garda Casey backwards a few steps. Mr Butler then took off running and a few hours later Garda Casey observed Anthony Butler in Ballincollig in a very intoxicated condition and arrested him,” Sgt. Lyons said.

There were numerous other incidents including another incident on a bus where he was described as aggressive and insulting to many of the passengers. He threatened one young man that he would follow him off the bus and assault him. Despite efforts to keep Butler on the bus until gardaí arrived he did follow the young man off the bus and he did assault him.

In yet another incident in Carrigaline, two youths walking home from a night out were set upon and attacked by Butler. One of them had the crown on his tooth knocked out.

Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said there was no arguing but that these were gruesome incidents. He said the defendant’s mother had warned him of an ‘alcoholic gene’ in the family but he failed to listen to her and fell in with people using drugs and alcohol after a move from one school to another did not work out and he left school completely.

Mr Cuddigan said that as a younger teenager the defendant had played rugby and soccer and has an exceptionally strong physique, which accounted for the injuries he caused when he did assault innocent members of the public.

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