Teenage father gets detention after setting fire to Garda car

A teenage father of two who set fire to a patrol car while he was handcuffed inside, attempted to bite a garda, and assaulted a shop manager, was sentenced to a total of 18 months’ detention.

Eighteen-year-old Darren Moran with an address at 20 Rinn Lia, Ballybrit, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy last Monday and pleaded guilty to a number of offences which included public order, assault, theft, obstruction, and arson.

Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that on December 7, 2008, at 1.45am gardai called to Rinn Lia where a woman complained that her partner had smashed windows in the house. The defendant, who had blood on his hands and clothing from wounds he had sustained, admitted the offence. He was handcuffed and placed in the patrol car. However, he set fire to the seats of the patrol car and had to be dragged out of it by gardai for his own safety.

There was trouble again at the same location on September 8, 2008, at 5am. There were complaints that Moran had been attacking his partner. Moran was heard threatening the injured party and he also threatened to murder arresting gardai before attempting to bite one of them.

On July 30, 2008, at Supervalu, Ballybane, the defendant shouted verbal abuse at a manager. He told him to “f**k off, you English prick” before threatening to head-butt him. On May 28, 2008, Moran had tried to leave without paying for hot food. Moran became aggressive and punched James Houlihan in the left cheek. On May 18, 2008, the now barred Moran spat in Mr Houlihan’s face before leaving. On April 26 the defendant threw a packet of firelighters at Mr Houlihan’s face, striking him in the nose.

A burglary took place at the warehouse of Aldi, Galway Retail Park, on May 22, 2008. Moran had entered the back of the premises and took off with a 42” LCD TV. It was spotted in the defendant’s house by gardai who had been investigating another matter. Moran had stolen a tricycle from It’s Magic Store, Corbett Court SC, on March 17, 2008, and stole €335.95 cash from a register at Signal, Eyre Square SC, the following day.

Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran said that her client, who has difficulties with drink and anger management, became the father of two children at a very young age and has “always tried to do the right thing” by being employed.

Judge Fahy sentenced Moran to a total of 18 months’ detention and fined him €100 payable forthwith.

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