A man who punched a garda 15 times in the head has been jailed for four months at Mullingar District Court.
Judge Hughes activated two months of a suspended sentence previously imposed on Andrew Clinton, Farran and added an extra two months for the assault which he said was unprovoked.
“It is not acceptable that a garda doing his duty should face such risk,” he said, after hearing how Mullingar’s Garda Glennon was punched up to 15 times the head and face.
He questioned whether there would be a difference in crime levels in this country if there was a similar zero tolerance attitude to alcohol as in Saudi Arabia.
Garda Glennon came back to work after five days but then was out for another month. He has since been on indoor duty.
The incident happened on July 28 last year at 2.45pm as Garda Glennon and his female colleague Garda Kelly saw Clinton looking into cars.
They became suspicious of his actions and he fled when he saw them, telling the officers to f*** off.
When they caught up with him, he firstly refused to give his name and address and was being arrested when he struck out and hit the garda, only stopping when Garda Kelly used her pepper spray.
The two men fell against a wall during the incident, which lasted just moments, and they fell on the ground.
Other gardai arrived and he was arrested.
Clinton was intoxicated and agreed he had “lost complete control of himself”.
Mr Louis Kiernan said his client, who has 19 previous convictions, had no excuse for his behaviour and apologised when he was interviewed at the Garda station.
Clinton has completed 10 out of 12 weeks of a rehabilitation programme and was released with a letter saying he’d successfully carried out the course.
Mr Kiernan said Clinton started getting in trouble when a long-term relationship broke down in 2010 and he turned to alcohol.
He took the incident with Garda Glennon so seriously that he went to Cuan Mhuire for treatment and has stayed out of trouble since then.
All his offences are alcohol related, and Mr Kiernan said Clinton’s father was in court and is supportive of his son.
Judge Hughes said he had no wish to send Clinton to prison, but if he didn’t punish the offence, “it would give the imprimatur to people to punch gardaí in the face 15 times or more”.