A member of An Garda Síochána was verbally abused as “a spastic and a handicap” at the scene of a drunken disturbance in the Douglas area.
Garda Ricky Galvin said at Cork District Court that after being verbally abused he was also physically assaulted by being shoved in the chest at one stage and having his thumb bent backwards.
Chimdi Oji of Grangewood Court, Cork, pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening behaviour and obstructing gardaí but he denied assaulting Garda Galvin.
However, after hearing the trial Judge Olann Kelleher convicted Oji on the assault charge as well as the other two charges.
Shane Collins-Daly defence solicitor said the young man admitted much of his wrongdoing and accepted he should not have behaved the way he did. He also said that the 20-year-old had no previous convictions.
Judge Kelleher imposed a four-month suspended sentence on the assault charge. He ordered him to do 150 hours of community service for obstruction and fined him €300 on the threatening charge.
Mr Collins-Daly said the accused was merely asking why he was being arrested because he said he only wanted his cans back on April 27 2019.
Garda Galvin testified that Oji said, “Shut up you handicap” and also called him a spastic.
There was also a handbag at the scene after a group of about 30 young people had run away at woods near The Paddocks estate and at the back of Douglas garda station.
As well as retrieving beer the Chimdi Oji referred to his girlfriend, saying, “I am only getting my beor’s handbag, you handicap.”
Sergeant Kevin Joyce said that from the moment the defendant came down the hill to approach gardaí he was aggressive and violent.
Sgt. Joyce said that when Garda Galvin told the accused he was about to arrest him, Oji replied, “Like f*** you are.”
Oji testified that he only returned to the scene to get his cans of beer and his girlfriend’s handbag. He said Garda Galvin asked to see his ID and he handed over his passport. He said Garda Galvin was about to put it in his back pocket so he (Oji) grabbed it back.
Asked by Sergeant Gearóid Davis if he had used the offensive terms described, he said, “Yes.” He accepted that this was not appropriate but he was not thinking straight at the time.
Judge Kelleher said, “He called the guards terrible names when they were doing their public duties. He accepts the situation was out of control and he apologises. He seems more remorseful today. I am satisfied he was out of control and I convict on the assault charge.
“It is a very serious matter for an individual that age to assault a garda. It is so serious any court would have to consider a custodial sentence.”
Because of the defendant’s age and absence of previous convictions the judge said he would not do so in this case.