Woman who bit garda and threatened to kill his family is 'disgusted' with herself

February 21st, 2024 10:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

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A WOMAN who threatened to hang the children of a garda sergeant and cut his wife’s throat, and also attempted to bite him, has been sentenced to five months in prison.

Laura Malone (35) of no fixed abode, Killaloe, Co Clare appeared at Bandon District Court last week where she pleaded guilty to numerous charges arising out an incident in Bandon on January 5th last. She pleaded to being drunk in a public place, using or engaging in threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour, assaulting a peace officer and impeding a drugs search, as well as failing to appear in court.

Sgt Tom Mulcahy said that on January 5th last, Sgt Kevin Heffernan responded to a call about a possible theft and drink driving at Hernon’s Londis shop on the bypass in Bandon.

‘On arrival he met the defendant who was very aggressive and obstructed him. She was drunk, resisted arrest and punched him in the face, scratched him, kicked him in the stomach, and tried to bite him,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

‘Sgt Heffernan was on his own at the time, and it was proving difficult to get her into the patrol van and he had to call for assistance.’

The court heard that while on her way to Bandon Garda Station in the patrol van, she made certain threats to Sgt Heffernan and to his family.

‘She said she would hang his children, cut his wife’s throat and find his house, no matter what,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

Sgt Heffernan was slightly injured, while his phone was broken during the incident. He declined to make a victim impact statement to the court.

The court heard that the defendant has nine previous convictions and was convicted at Ennis District Court a month earlier, where she received a four-month sentence.

Defence solicitor Myra Dinneen said her client acknowledges that she has addiction issues. ‘She has written a letter of apology to Sgt Heffernan and she realises her behaviour on the morning was wrong,’ said Ms Dinneen, who said her client had lapsed back into addiction after a period of sobriety.

‘She has insight into her situation and she needs further treatment and if she can avail of any services it would help her.’ Ms Malone read out aloud in court her letter of apology to Sgt Heffernan.

‘I am horrified and I cry myself to sleep knowing my actions have put me here. I want to express my utter regret for the way I treated you. You deserve to be treated with respect and I’m disgusted with myself. I truly am sorry and I hope you can understand and find in your heart to accept my apology.’

Judge McNulty noted that the defendant and a co-accused were out ‘gallivanting’ in Bandon when things got messy and then got ‘ominous’.

‘She was under arrest and should be sobering up, but she was savage enough to make threats to Sgt Heffernan at his work place and also threatening his children and his wife,’ said the judge, who added that it was ‘on the dark side’ of an obstruction charge.

He noted that she came late to ‘addiction and chaos’ as she was rearing her son at her parent’s home until she was asked to leave, due to her drinking.

‘She has been to Fellowship House and she knows the drill and has worn the t-shirt. A prison sentence will assist her in staying sober, not by choice, for several months.’

He sentenced her to five months in prison for obstructing Sgt Heffernan, and noted that this was committed while she was on bail, so this must be served consecutively after her Ennis sentence.

The judge took into consideration impeding a drugs search and two public order charges, while he convicted and fined her €100 for failing to appear at Killaloe District Court. Recognisances for an appeal were fixed in her bond of €100 with no cash required, while he also sought an independent surety in the sum of €1,500, with a third of that in cash and he will have to approve it.

‘I’d have thought she’d be better staying put doing the time,’ said Judge McNulty.

Her co-accused, Jade Mc- Fadden (23) of 107 Leesdale, Model Farm Road, Cork city, pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without a licence, no insurance, providing a false name, and stealing eight cans of Budweiser from Hernon’s Londis on the same day.

The court heard that she has 11 previous convictions, including two for theft and has serious alcohol and drug addiction issues.

Solicitor Myra Dinneen said that at a previous court sitting, Judge John King said that should a place be available at Coolmine treatment centre, then she should be taken there until her treatment is finished and then returned to Limerick Prison.

Judge McNulty convicted and fined her a total of €300 for the driving offences and disqualified her from driving for two years. He deferred imposing penalty on the theft charge and released her on bail and directed that she be taken to Coolmine the following day.

‘This treatment will form part of her bail and if she doesn’t stay there, then all bets are off,’ said the judge, who remanded her on bail to appear in court again on February 15th next for sentencing on the theft charge.

He said the court has a sixmonth prison term in mind due to the fact that she has 11 previous convictions, including two for theft.

He also convicted her of giving a false name but deferred penalty until the next court date.

‘If she’s still in Coolmine, she doesn’t need to be here. It’s up to you Jade.’

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