Handcuffed man put garda in a head-lock

Court

Handcuffed man put garda in a head-lock

A 33 year old man who denied injuring a garda while handcuffed by putting him in a head-lock, was convicted at Dundalk District Court last week.

Niall Mackin of Patrick Tierney Crescent, Dundalk had contested a charge of assault causing harm on January second last.

The court heard that gardai called to the defendant's home by his mother, found a window smashed, a front door kicked in and that casing had been pulled off a radiator.

Blood was also on the floor and walls and they were told that the accused had caused the damage and had since left.

The court heard Niall Mackin was outside and continued to walk away from him, when approached he told gardai that he lived with his father and that his mother was dead.

He was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and continued to be aggressive and struggled while being handcuffed.

The court heard he shouldered one officer pushing him off balance and tripped another garda.

The defendant's mother was screaming that she didn't want him arrested and the court heard the accused jumped back out of the patrol van and put his hands over a garda and got him into a headlock, scraping his face with the handcuffs.

Both garda witnesses rejected a defence suggestion that the accused's hands were cuffed behind his back - making it impossible to carry out the assault.

They said that while it was best practice to handcuff prisoners behind the back, because of the struggle they were unable to do so with the accused.

Niall Mackin said "I know for a fact it did not happen the way they described it". He insisted he didn't do anything wrong and said felt he didn't need to be arrested and that's why he was resisting.

His mother said "absolutely not" when asked if she'd seen the garda in the headlock.

Judge Flann Brennan said he had absolutely no doubt that the charge had been proven. The court heard in a separate case, the accused had signed in his brother's name to collect his Social Welfare payment at Castletown Road Post Office on March 26th last - having earlier collected his own dole there.

The Defence barrister explained his client's brother was in custody and needed €200 bail money and had given him Social Protection card so he could get the cash.

The barrister asked the court not to record a conviction as he said his client has an interview to join the army having previously twice failed the aptitude test.

However, Judge Brennan said it was a serious assault looking at the marks in the photo and the accused had acted like a violent thug. He imposed two concurrent three month sentences for both offences, but said he could appeal in his own bond of €500.