Judge speaks out for beleaguered force in spitting case

 An Garda Siochána received some welcome support in the District Court this week (May 14 ) as a judge convicted a man for spitting in an officer’s face. “This is something all those commentators and politicians tend to forget, it’s the Gardaí who are called when we’re all fast asleep in our beds, and if they weren’t there, what would we do?” asked Judge Seamus Hughes in the trial of Andrzeje Wilczek (42 ), of Ashford, Monksland, Athlone. Wilczek was in court with the balance of an €800 compensation order ordered by Judge Hughes at an earlier appearance in March at which he described Wilczek’s action as “a filthy, dirty thing to do”. At that appearance the court heard how gardaí were called to a disturbance outside Jacks nightclub on Church Street just before midnight on September 14, where they discovered the defendant “acting aggressively towards a lady”. “Judge, he swung out an arm at one garda, and had to be restrained by a number of gardaí. He then spat at Garda Treanor, and continued to act aggressively in custody,” said Inspector Aidan Minnock in March. On that date Wilczek brought €400 as a gesture towards compensation, and Judge Hughes ordered he provide the same again. “Any person who spits in the face of a garda will pay dearly. If I could put a price on a spit... It’ll cost him €800 for his spit,” said the judge then. “I won’t tolerate you or your ilk spitting in a Guard’s face. This is the job they do morning, noon, and night which none of us see, and I think we should still remember that,” he said this week, accepting the final €400.

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