Court told how man tried to gouge garda’s eyes out

A probation report has been ordered in the case of a Mullingar man who attempted to gouge out a garda’s eyes during a public order incident.

Michael Nevin (27 ) of Springfield, Mullingar was involved in an incident on January 4 this year at Ginnell Terrace when gardaí were called to the estate at around 1.30am.

Nevin was very intoxicated and threatened Garda Enda Kelly, attempting to head butt him and hitting him in the face.

He was arrested because of his behaviour and then boxed the garda in the face and tried to gouge his eyes on two occasions and bit the garda on his hand but left no cut.

He had to be pepper-sprayed a number of times and was restrained.

Garda Kelly ended up with a black eye, bruising, and swelling and in view of the injuries, Judge Hughes said he was surprised the DPP had directed a simple assault charge instead of something more serious.

Nevin initially responded by saying that Garda Kelly had made everything up and though he had pleaded guilty, argued with the evidence.

Mr Louis Kiernan said his client has medical and other difficulties and is hard of hearing. He has previous public order convictions from 2009.

A married father of two, Nevin has been having a difficult time since December, Mr Kiernan said, but the judge was horrified by the facts of the case and remanded Nevin in custody until his case was re-called.

When the case was re-called, Mr Kiernan said his client didn’t accept that he had been out of order on the night, and felt he’d been the victim of an assault himself.

He denied that his client had so much to drink he couldn’t recall the incident, saying Nevin had just two bottles of beer.

Nevin appeared confused by the evidence.

He went on to apologise about the incident, saying he wasn’t in his right mind and that his head was “f***ed up” at the time. He is now on tablets.

But he said “Enda is making up lies about me and I don’t know why”.

“I did bite Enda on the hand and tried to poke his eye but I didn’t do it,” he said, referring to any actual gouging, adding that there are CCTV images of him being assaulted.

Inspector Drea said Nevin is easily wound up by others and on the night, there had been an altercation between Nevin and his wife and he followed her to the property in Ginnell Terrace where she had gone to stay.

Gardaí have dealt with him for a number of years, he said.

“I just wanted to talk to my wife,” said Nevin.

Judge Hughes said gardaí had been very fair to Nevin and he should be facing more serious charges.

He adjourned the case to October 10 for a full probation report with training recommendations.


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