A MAN who had appealed his conviction for breaching Covid regulations in Kinsale last year where he called gardaí ‘Nazi scum’ and ‘rats’ told a circuit court judge that she was ‘a disgrace’ and that he wouldn’t be paying the fine, after she upheld the conviction.
Ross Lahive of Church Street, Cork city made the outburst at the Circuit Court Appeals sitting in Bandon last week, before Judge Helen Boyle.
He was convicted in the district court earlier this year of breaching Covid guidelines on February 7th last year when gardaí called to a house in Kinsale after complaints were made about noise coming from it.
At last week’s court sitting, Mr Lahive, who was not legally represented, said his case should have been thrown out in the lower court as he claimed he broke no Covid regulations.
Judge Boyle heard evidence from three different gardaí who attended the house on Compass Hill in Kinsale, after gardaí received an anonymous report that a gathering was taking place there.
Gda Cormac Dineen said that when he met the defendant at the front door he was aggressive in his tone and refused to answer any of his questions.
‘He said we were on private property and called us Nazi scum and rats and said to get off the property.
‘The veins were bulging out of his forehead and he was recording us on his mobile phone the whole time,’ said Gda Dineen.
‘He was insulting and abusive to me and my colleagues and he refused to give me his name and address and closed the door on me.’
The court heard that gardaí were there for about an hour-and-a-half until the homeowner came out and spoke to them.
‘We told her why we were there and she and the others came out of the house and we took all their details and explained that they were in breach of Covid regulations,’ he told the judge.
Gda Dineen said the homeowner did not say the defendant was a resident of the house and gardaí were only able to get his name after searching on social media and the Garda Pulse system.
Mr Lahive told Judge Boyle that he told Gda Dineen that he was in a relationship with the homeowner’s daughter and that he was living there.
‘I was unpleasant but what law did I break?
‘And I have a letter from the homeowner saying I was living there,’ said Mr Lahive.
The court also heard evidence from Gda Ricky O’Sullivan and Gda Padraig Walsh, who both said the defendant was extremely aggressive to them.
Mr Lahive said the Covid restrictions were a ‘gross violation of our human rights’ and he maintained he did not break the law as that law is no longer in place now. He said the restrictions were ‘totally overboard.’
However, Judge Boyle said it was the law at the time and asked if he had any bills in his name to prove he was living at the address. She said he had no reasonable excuse to be in the house on that date.
Mr Lahive said he wanted justice and asked Judge Boyle to strike out the case.
‘I had every right to be there as she was my spouse,’ he said.
However, Judge Boyle affirmed the lower court order convicting and fining him €300 for the offence.
Mr Lahive said he wanted to appeal it and wouldn’t pay the fine, but Judge Boyle reminded him that this was the last avenue for appeal of the conviction.
‘This is so unjust, this is a disgrace. You’re a disgrace,’ said Mr Lahive.