A 28-year-old man who struck out at gardai so violently that they were forced to use pepper spray to subdue and arrest him has been given a six month suspended sentence.
Gary Ridge with an address at 62 Forster Street, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday charged with failing to obey Garda orders, obstruction, and threatening and abusive behaviour at Cross Street on March 4, 2012
Inspector Brendan Carroll told the court that at 3.20pm gardai came across the defendant who was in a verbal argument with another person. When the gardai attempted to intervene Ridge became extremely abusive towards them and he refused to leave the area despite being directed to do so numerous times. Still refusing to move Ridge then struck out violently at the gardai who were then forced to use pepper spray to subdue him and make an arrest. The inspector added that Ridge has six previous convictions including obstruction, possession of drugs, and public order offences.
Defence solicitor Ronan Murphy said that his client, who is orriginally from Connemara, has recently returned back to education and has secured a position in an upcoming course. Mr Murphy explained that on the night in question Ridge had been chatting with friends when someone approached in an aggressive manner. Ridge had tried to intervene and when the gardai arrived the “blood was high and he was upset”. Mr Murphy then asked Judge Fahy to consider a community service order as Ridge is making every effort to get on with his life.
However, Judge Fahy refused to take a community service route instead opting for a suspended sentence. She convicted Ridge and imposed a six months sentence suspended for two years on condition that he enter into a bond of €300 to be of good behaviour and that he stay away from Supermacs in Cross Street and its environs during that period.