Defendants claimed the Gardaí were racist after stopping them

Two Claremorris men who were convicted for public order offences this week after they were stopped by Gardaí after a number of phone calls were made to the station in Claremorris to say that two males walking out the Balla road were a danger to traffic. On the day they were stopped they became abusive towards the Gardaí and one of them said: “You guards are racist, why don’t you go and arrest someone else.”

Garda Jason Lardener told Castlebar District Court this week that he was on duty in Claremorris Garda Station on May 26 2013 at 4pm, when a number of calls were received in the station to say that two men who were walking out the Balla road were a danger to the traffic and one person even called into the station in person to inform them of the same.

He went on to say that he and Sgt Lavery left the station and went to the location in the Garda patrol van and saw two men zig-zagging along the footpath. They pulled the patrol van up ahead of the two men on Convent Road, Claremorris and signalled for the men to stop but they didn’t. Garda Lavery said that he tried to get out of the door of the van as the men passed, but a man he knew as Tomas Kuksta, 36 Ardroe, Claremorris pushed the door back against him stopping him to get out, but Sgt Lavery was able to exit the van from his side and stop the two men. Continuing his evidence he said that he informed the men that there had been complaints about them and Lukaz Krupecki, Streamstown, Claremorris who he also previously knew said to him: “You guards are racist, why don’t you go and arrest someone else.”

As he tried to arrest the men, Kuksta became aggressive and had to be physically restrained by the Gardaí and forcibly put in the back of the van and started shouting “racist bastard pigs” at the him and Sgt Lavery.

While they drove back to the station, both men started trying to rock the van over and back on the journey. When they arrived at the station Kuksta was still aggressive and it was decided to place him in a cell, but when he was asked to remove his belt and jewellery, he stripped off all his clothes and threw them at the Gardaí on duty according to Garda Lardenr’s evidence. Krupecki was released a short time later, while it was 2am before Kuksta was released.

Both men contested the charge, but Judge Mary Devins found that the Gardaí had proved their case. In relation to Kuksta she remanded him on bail for sentencing on October 15, while Krupecki was remanded on bail to appear before the Circuit Court on July 25 as he currently has a suspended sentence imposed on him from the Circuit Court from other matters.

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