A GARDA was head-butted by a drunk and aggressive teenager who was violently resisting arrest, a court heard last week.
Garda Nolan and Garda O’Driscoll were on patrol when they received a report of a fight at Patrick’s Hill in Clonakilty on the night of August 7th last.
In evidence at Clonakilty Court, Supt Ger O’Mahony said a large crowd had gathered and were watching two men struggle on the street.
He said one of the men appeared to be attempting to restrain another on the ground and when this man saw the gardai, he backed off.
The man on the road was John Paul Maughan (19) of Maulmacredmond, Clonakilty, and his condition was described as ‘drunk and very aggressive.’
Maughan attempted to attack other people on the footpath and shouted obscenities at them. He threatened to ‘kill them’ and ‘fucking bury them.’
To prevent him from carrying out an assault, the garda restrained him but Maughan resisted. In fact, the Supt said, ‘he refused all entreaties to calm down and became very physically aggressive.’
He continued to resist arrest and to be very abusive to gardai. And he shouted: ‘You are fucking arresting no one.’
Maughan then locked his hands together to prevent being handcuffed.
The Supt said he spat at people on the street and was only handcuffed ‘with great difficulty.’
Maughan even continued to resist arrest as he was being walked to the patrol car. He attempted to pull free and braced his feet against the side of the patrol car, which meant the guards had difficulty holding him.
Maughan then deliberately drew back his head and with full force head-butted Gda Nolan into the face. The blow struck him on the nose, which caused him pain and vision difficulties.
Maughan still continued to struggle and, in fear of being over-powered, Garda Nolan warned the accused that if he didn’t calm down, pepper-spray would be used.
Maughan’s response was violent and Garda Nolan used the spray on him, but such was the level of tumult that both members of the gardai got spray in their eyes as well.
After being placed in the patrol car, Supt O’Mahony said Maughan eventually calmed down and apologised to Garda Nolan.
In defence of his young client, solicitor Ray Hennessy referred to a probation officer’s report, which identified alcohol as being the source of his problems.
Judge McNulty said he had read the same report – a report that said Maughan presents as pleasant and sociable, but after consuming alcohol becomes ‘violent, dangerous and unpredictable’.
The accused was known to the court, having previously served a sentence for assaulting his girlfriend on the night of her debs.
The judge recalled that she is the mother of his child. On the night of her debs, he said Maughan had sent her home a bloodied mess and had caused ‘chaos, mayhem and havoc’ in her family home.
Two other charges involved in that case – one of assaulting the girl’s father and another man that came to her aid – were adjourned to see how the accused behaved in the meantime.
Both of those charges were resubmitted at Clonakilty District Court last Tuesday. It was also pointed out that Maughan was out on bail at the time, and in breach of his curfew conditions.
Judge McNulty sentenced John Paul Maughan to five months concurrent on two counts of assault at Western Road, Clonakilty, on July 30th; one charge of assaulting Garda Nolan on August 7th; and one charge of resisting arrest. A fifth and final charge of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour carried a two-month concurrent sentence.