Man claims leg spasms caused him to hit garda
ASSAULT CASE BACK PAIN EXCUSE FAILS TO CONVINCE JUDGE
A MAN WHO said that his back pain was such that his legs went from under him failed to convince Judge Murrough Connellan that his was his reason for assaulting a garda.
Aidan O’Neill punched Garda Martin Egan at the scene of an accident in the Rathdown Park area of Greystones.
Garda Egan told the court that the accused was drunk and walking way from the scene.
He said that he became aggressive and dismissive. ‘I started writing in my notebook and he struck me with his left fist. I stumbled backwards,’ said Garda Egan.
O’Neill appeared at Bray District Court last Thursday charged with refusing to state if he was driving, failing to give a specimen, and assault.
O’Neil told the court that he was in extreme pain, suffering from three collapsed discs in his back pressing on his sciatic nerve.
He claimed that a spasm in his leg cause him to fall forward and grab the garda.
He said that he was on 16 tablets a day at that time, including a number of painkillers.
‘It’s with me for life,’ he said. ‘It can throw me forward. There has been nobody around when I’ve hit a wall or the floor. There was no intent whatsoever to hit the garda but I knew what the presumption would have been.’
Judge Connellan asked the accused why, if he realised what the garda would think, he did not apologise immediately and explain that it had been an accident.
‘Because at that time there were two gardaí on my back,’ he said. ‘I apologised to him the next morning.’
Judge Connellan said that O’Neill had become aggressive and dismissive, had refused at first to give his name. ‘I can only come to the conclusion that there was an element of attempt,’ he said.
O’Neill was fined €200 for failing to state if he had been driving, € 250 for failing to give a specimen, and banned from driving for four years.
He was bound to the peace for one year for the charge of assault.