Man arrested after trying to get lift in patrol car

While most people prefer to stay out of a patrol car one 25-year-old man was so in need of a lift during Christmas celebrations that he drunkenly asked gardai for a lift, and when that was refused he grabbed the car handles to try to get in, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Wayne Melia of Kilcahill, Claregalway, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy last Monday and pleaded guilty to being in an intoxicated state and with attempting to interfere with a Garda patrol car at Eyre Square on December 23, 2009.

The court heard that gardai had been attending to a separate incident at Eyre Square and had parked the patrol car outside Supermac’s. Melia, who was intoxicated and unsteady on his feet, then approached the gardai asking for a lift which was refused. As the garda officers went to deal with other matters they received a call stating that the defendant had been seen on CCTV trying to get into the patrol car which had been locked. Melia, who had been pulling at the car handles, was then arrested and taken to Galway Garda station where he was charged.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that his client had been “heavily intoxicated” and had been out celebrating “pre-Christmas”. He said that Melia had no recollection and accepted that it was serious to interfere with a patrol car. Mr MacLynn added that Melia, who has no previous convictions, had worked as a plumber but was laid off. “He doesn’t even drive a car,” he said.

“That’s why he was looking for a lift,” quipped Judge Fahy, before asking Melia how he had so much money to get that drunk. Melia told Judge Fahy that he had saved up and had been drinking whiskey which is not something he did regularly.

“It’s an unusual type of case. It wasn’t deliberate,” noted Judge Fahy.

Inspector Coppinger then said: “They are normally trying to get out, not in.”

Judge Fahy then remanded Melia on continuing bail to April 7 and ordered him to have €600 ready to be paid to the court. She also directed for the preparation of a Garda Behaviour Report.

“You can save your whiskey money for that,” Judge Fahy advised Melia.

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