Gardaí pepper-sprayed driver who pointed cross at them

March 14th, 2024 10:00 PM

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A MAN had to be pepper-sprayed by gardaí as he had the pointed end of a cross on a chain clenched in his right fist when they went to assist him following a single road traffic collision in Bandon, a court recently heard.

Artur Wiacek (49) with an address at 6 Blackberry Lane, Bandon pleaded guilty at Bandon District Court to drink driving, obstruction of a peace officer and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Sgt Tom Mulcahy told the court that at 12.20am on February 6th last year the defendant had a road traffic collision at Gully, Bandon.

‘His car was blocking the main road after he lost control of it. When gardaí arrived on the scene he wasn’t very helpful and was aggressive at the scene,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

‘He had no footwear on. When gardaí came to his assistance he had his right fist clenched. Gda Finbarr Russell saw something in his fist and asked him to drop it but he refused to do so.’

The defendant refused to desist, forcing gardaí to use pepper spray as he was holding a cross on a chain with the pointed end coming out through his fist.

‘Once he was pepper-sprayed, they were able to deal with him and he was arrested and taken to Bandon Garda Station.’

A blood sample gave a reading of 204mlgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

The court heard that he has two previous convictions for public order offences.

Solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said was from Poland but has been in Ireland for the past 15 years.

He is divorced and has two children, works within his own community, and has very poor English.

Judge James McNulty remarked that the defendant’s behaviour was ‘shocking’ on the night.

Mr Taaffe said his client apologises to the gardaí and didn’t intend to be offensive.

‘He was drunk. His reaction wasn’t good. He shouldn’t have been driving.’ Judge McNulty disqualified him from driving for three years and convicted and fined him €100 on the drink driving charge.

He said the public order offence and the obstruction of gardaí was much more serious as he had a history of public order offending and was dealt with leniently before.

He convicted Mr Wiacek but deferred penalty to the April 4th court so that the accused could then come back with a solicitor’s cheque for €1,000.

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