A mother and son in Kinnegad have been convicted of public order offences relating to an incident during which gardaí were threatened and allegedly reported for trying to kill someone.
Sgt William Tooher told a special sitting of Mullingar District Court how Angela Strickland had indicated she was calling an ambulance, telling the operator that “the guards are killing this child” as they struggled to arrest a man on suspicion of theft.
She made no effort to assist when her son threatened to “kick the baldy c*** in the head”, during the struggle, a reference which the sergeant took to refer to himself.
Ms Strickland also took and attempted to hide a pair of handcuffs that fell as the sergeant and a colleague attempted to arrest her son’s friend for whom two bench warrants were in existence.
The incident arose at the Strickland’s home at 10 Manorfield, Kinnegad as gardaí followed up on reports that Christopher Strickland and a companion had stolen five bottles of vodka from a supermarket on September 2, 2008.
Mr Strickland’s companion was chased by the sergeant as he attempted to escape and was caught in the back garden causing concern to Mr Gabriel Milanese, Ms Strickland’s partner, who had prize bonsai trees growing there.
He too began shouting as the struggle between gardaí and the suspected thief took place on the footpath.
One member of the family held a mobile phone and threatened to record the incident for bebo, allegedly “to show what bullies the gardaí in Kinnegad were,” said the sergeant.
Residents who arrived on the scene also refused to assist the officers but with assistance the original thief was arrested. Christopher Strickland evaded arrest because his mother, whom the sergeant described as “cute enough” in her actions, locked the side gate and gardaí could not gain access to him.
Mr Robert Marren said his client Mr Strickland wanted to put the incident behind him and move on. The 20-year-old had been hanging around with the wrong people in Kinnegad and, on this occasion, events overtook him. He pleaded guilty to public order offences and theft.
He was given a three-month sentence suspended for eight months for failing to comply with the direction of gardaí. On payment of €150 compensation, the theft charge was taken into consideration.
Mr Milanese and Ms Strickland, who are both 36, have since left Kinnegad to get away from trouble, the court heard,and neither of them were physically well enough to offer assistance to the officers.
However Judge Lindsay pointed to her unhelpful behaviour, shouting and screaming and suggestions that the young man was being killed by the guards.
Ms Strickland was fined €200 for public order offences while Mr Milanese, who was “less of a culprit” was given the benefit of the Probation Act.