Five months for St Patrick’s Day assault

A man who headbutted a female garda in the face and assaulted two other gardaí has been ordered to pay them €500 compensation each.

Eddie Busher, of Slanemore, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing harm which took place on St Patrick’s day.

Gardaí had been in the process of arresting a friend of Busher’s because an arrest warrant had been issued for him, when the young man became aggressive.

Members of his family and friends were also present, Garda Neil Donnellan told Mullingar District Court.

As gardaí tried to calm him down, he struck out at them, headbutting Garda Lorraine Connolly in the face. He then grabbed Garda Tomás Blake in the groin area and when he eventually removed his hand, kicked the garda in the same place.

He punched Garda Donnellan in the head and ran away, but was arrested.

In the patrol car he tried to headbutt Garda Blake again but calmed down for a while in the custody suite before becoming agitated when his father arrived.

He then headbutted Garda Donnellan so hard into the face that he thought he had broken his nose.

He has no previous convictions.

Ms Patricia Cronin said her client had been 17 at the time of the incident which he accepted he had approached in “entirely the wrong manner”.

She said he was concerned because the man who was being arrested had only recently had casts removed from both his arms following a serious accident.

She described the offence as “horrendous” but said it was the first time that he had been in town drinking and couldn’t control his drink.

He had brought what she described as a “substantial sum” of €1,500 for the gardaí or for charity.

Judge O’Brien expressed his displeasure, saying Busher had been “busy” on the night and noted that one of the victims had been “a lady guard”.

He said Busher’s behaviour had been “completely unacceptable” and imposed a five-month sentence for the assault on Garda Connolly, suspended for two years, and took the others into consideration.

Inspector Kieran Keyes said gardaí would prefer if the money went to charity, but the judge said they could do with it as they wished.

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