Man who kicked Garda during arrest avoids prison

A Stranorlar welder who kicked out at a Garda while resisting arrest has avoided a prison sentence.

Paul Ward was convicted and fined €500 when he appeared before Letterkenny District Court on Thursday.

Ward was charged with assaulting Garda Harrington at Letterkenny Garda Station on August 16, 2020.

The 28-year-old, with an address at Hilltop Crescent, Stranorlar, became ‘verbally abusive and increasingly agitated’ when gardai approached the scene of an incident on the night in question.

Gardai had to use pepper spray on Ward, who resisted arrest. Inspector Paul McHugh told the court that when conveyed to Letterkenny Garda Station, Ward continued to be aggressive and threatened Garda Harrington before kicking out and striking the garda on the left leg.

The court heard that Garda Harrington suffered pain and stiffness, but was not abstinent from duty after the incident.

Solicitor Mr Kieran O’Gorman, representing Ward, said his client and his brother were at a party and there was ‘a bit of an altercation’. He said the parties involved were very intoxicated at the time.

Ward has since started his own business and has not taken a drink in the time since the incident.

“When he realised what had happened, he went and contacted Garda Harrington to apologise for his behaviour and the whole incident,” Mr O’Gorman said, “When he was being put to the ground, he kicked out with his foot. It wasn’t an attack. He is very remorseful.”

Inspector McHugh confirmed that Ward called to speak with the garda and had ‘no recollection’ of what had happened. It was accepted that contact was made while Ward was being put on the ground by the garda who was attempting to restrain him.

Ward has eight previous convictions, all of which are under the Road Traffic Act.

Judge Ciaran Liddy took some time to mull over the case.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable,” Judge Liddy said. “To assault any member of the emergency services is not acceptable.”

Judge Liddy said that as contact was made as Ward was being put on the ground, Garda Harrington chose not to submit a victim impact statement and in the absence of similar previous convictions he would not impose a custodial sentence.

He said the seriousness of the incident must be marked and he convicted Ward, fining him €500 and allowing six months to pay.

Man who kicked Garda during arrest avoids prison was last modified: February 3rd, 2024 by Staff Writer

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