Tuam man appeals sentence for abuse of gardai at accident scene

Ambulance crew attending the scene of a traffic accident were repeatedly abused by a Tuam man who then kicked the seats of a patrol car on his way to hospital.

Describing Charles Doherty’s behaviour as outrageous Judge Mary Fahy imposed a two month sentence at Galway District Court last Monday, however, Doherty later lodged an appeal.

The 21-year-old with an address at 8 Ballinamona Park, Tuam, pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in a public place and with threatening and abusive behaviour at Tuam Road on February 12 2008.

Garda Eoin Griffin told the court when gardai arrived at the scene of the road traffic accident they found that a car had collided with a wall and that the defendant was walking around the car. Doherty who seemed highly intoxicated was roaring and shouting telling gardai to mind their own business. Garda Griffin said that the defendant had told them to “f**k off” and was also very abusive to the ambulance crew.

Despite being arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the patrol car the defendant continued to shout abuse at gardai. On the way to the hospital he kicked the seats of the patrol car hitting Garda Griffin, who had been the driver, in the shoulder. The court also heard that the defendant had nine previous convictions including driving without insurance and possession of a knife.

Defence solicitor Gearoid Geraghty said that his client apologises for his “dreadful behaviour” and that he has had drugs problems in the past. He added that Doherty has no previous convictions for public order offences and that he is now receiving counselling.

“He acted outrageously by shouting and screaming. I’d accept it if he had calmed down but he continued to abuse ambulance crew and gardai by kicking,” said Judge Fahy who also fined Doherty €100 payable forthwith.

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