Father hurls abuse at garda over child car seat offence

A father who, when pulled for not having his young child in a proper car seat flew off the handle and hurled insulting abuse at a garda, was sentenced to a further one month in jail and warned to mend his ways.

Jonathan Ward (25 ) with an address at Bay 2 Circular Road, Rahoon, was brought in custody before Judge Mary Fahy at Galway District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour at Headford Road on May 28, 2010.

Inspector Brendan Carroll told the court that at 10.30am at Galway Shopping Centre a garda officer observed a female passenger in a Ford transit van holding a baby in her lap while the vehicle was moving.

When the garda pointed out the offence the defendant shouted at the top of his voice: “Stick that ticket five miles up your hole”. When Ward’s behaviour became increasingly threatening the garda was forced to take out his pepper spray. Ward responded by shouting: “F**k you and your pepper spray”.

Ward’s solicitor said that his client was married with one child and that he “has difficulty receiving directions”.

Judge Fahy replied that a garda should not have to tell Ward about the dangers posed to his own child.

Inspector Carroll then explained that the defendant is currently serving a two month sentence, imposed on October 4 this year, for a separate threatening and abusive behaviour offence. Other previous convictions include a fine for holding a mobile phone while driving, and tresspass.

“To speak to someone like that and in front of a child. This was in a shopping centre which is always busy,” said Judge Fahy.

Ward then told Judge Fahy that the van was parked at the time and he was in the process of taking his child out of the special car seat when the garda approached. “The garda wouldn’t listen to me,” he said irately.

Judge Fahy noted that it was clear that the defendant has a “short fuse”. She then convicted Ward and imposed a one month sentence, to be served on lawful termination of the sentence already being served.


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