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Man on assault charges had been tortured in Zimbabwe

October 30th, 2020 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Judge James McNulty said he ‘doesn’t kick a man when he is down’ so he adjourned the case to allow Mr Mguni to ‘seek healing’

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A MAN who assaulted three gardaí at a direct provision centre had himself been the victim of assault, kidnap and torture in his native Zimbabwe, a court has heard.

Nikosiyapha Mguni of Clonakilty Lodge, Clonakilty, previously pleaded guilty to assaulting Sgt Alec Butler, Gda Trish Grimes and Gda Liam Ryan during a disturbance at the Clonakilty Lodge last April 22nd.

Mr Mguni was also convicted of criminal damage, obstructing gardaí and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

The court heard at the time that while attempting to arrest and handcuff Mr Mguni in the hallway of the centre, Sgt Butler got his finger caught in the handcuff and Mguni bit down on his finger. Gardaí eventually used pepper spray to restrain Mguni and Sgt Butler managed to get his finger free from Mguni’s mouth.

Mr Mguni also pulled Gda Grimes’ hair back and forth and had her glasses smashed, while Gda Ryan was also assaulted.

Sgt Butler told the court then that he feared he was going to lose his finger. The case had been adjourned for the production of a medical report.

At the most recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court, Mguni’s solicitor Vicky Buckley handed into court an 18-page psychiatric report on her client,  which detailed that Mguni is severely depressed and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after he was the victim of assault, kidnapping and torture in his native Zimbabwe.

Ms Buckley said her client has a deep sense of remorse for the hurt he caused and that he had been drinking which only exacerbated his emotional fragility.

The report suggested that Mguni could be helped by psychotherapy.

Judge James McNulty said that the offence does warrant a custodial sentence because it involves a serious assault on gardaí.

‘You don’t kick a man when he’s down and while he presents well, he is clearly in great distress and I will postpone penalties to allow him make progress,’ said Judge McNulty.

Judge McNulty added that it might be a ‘dark road’ for the defendant but for his future peace of mind it would be better if he seeks healing and he adjourned the matter until September 7th 2021.

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