IT turned out to be a Valentine’s night out ‘gone very wrong’ for one couple as the female was arrested for drink-driving while her partner, after being arrested for public order offences, smeared his faeces on the wall of a garda cell.
The sequence of events that led to the arrest was outlined to Judge James McNulty at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court.
Richard O’Donovan of Garranes, Bandon pleaded guilty to two public order charges and to one criminal damage charge, arising from incidents in the early hours of February 15th last.
Sgt Brian Harte told the court that Mr O’Donovan’s partner was in custody at Bandon Garda Station that night, after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
‘Richard O’Donovan was in the public foyer and was highly drunk and agitated and was shouting at the top of his voice that ‘gardaí in Bandon are dirty c*nts and corrupt bastards,’ said Sgt Harte.
‘Sgt Daly told him to leave the station and desist from his behaviour. And Mr O’Donovan then went out on Weir Street and continued to shout abuse about the gardaí on the street.’
Sgt Harte said that while gardaí were trying to arrest the defendant, he attempted to evade them before being eventually arrested at 2.15am.
‘He was placed in a cell at the station where he then smeared his own faeces on the back wall and wrote his initials ‘RD’ on the wall.’
The court was told that the price of the clean-up for the damage came to €150 and that Mr O’Donovan has eight previous convictions, mainly for minor road traffic offences.
Defence solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said his client wanted to apologise for his behaviour to gardaí on the night.
‘He had been out for Valentine’s Day with his partner and after a meal they went for a drink and one led to another and his partner was then later arrested for drink-driving. In his drunken state, he became agitated while she was being processed,’ said Mr Taaffe.
‘He acknowledges he was wrong and he’s ashamed and embarrassed at his actions.’
Mr Taaffe said his client, who is a manager of a school canteen and the father of an eight-month-old child fears he will lose his job if he is convicted of the offences.
Judge McNulty said that paying the cost of the cell clean-up was the least of Mr O’Donovan’s problems.
‘Some poor person had to clean his faeces off a wall of a cell in a garda station. Isn’t it demeaning to any human being that they would have to undertake this task because he couldn’t behave in a respectful manner?’ asked Judge McNulty.
Judge McNulty said the defendant should go to Cork prison to see how he gets on there smearing the cell walls.
‘It was humiliating and demeaning for some other person to clean that cell and this was appalling conduct by any human,’ added Judge McNulty.
Mr O’Donovan said he was ‘terribly sorry’ for what happened.
Judge McNulty said that maybe he should be spared the prison cell, but that it would cost him, and said he would make a decision when he had €1,000 in court and he directed that Mr O’Donovan pay his own legal fees.
‘It’s going to be a very expensive Valentine’s night out gone wrong, gone very wrong,’ said Judge McNulty, who convicted him on all charges and deferred penalty until May 3rd.