Man attacked, bit garda who found him lying in own vomit

by Sylvia Pownall

A man attacked and bit a garda who had found him lying in his own vomit on the side of the road and driven him back to his house, a court has heard.

Shane Halpin (25), of Fouillard Lane, Lusk, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Derek Dalton causing him harm at his address on September 2, 2018.

Sergeant John Cannon told the court that Gardai received a call about a person lying unconscious on the side of the road at Blakes Cross, Lusk.

He added that Halpin was intoxicated and appeared to have vomited on himself. Garda Dalton decided to bring him home and called for a Garda van.

Concerned that Haplin might not have given the correct address, Gda Dalton knocked on the door and asked the accused’s mother if Halpin was welcome there.

After she said that he was, Halpin emerged from the Garda van “quite aggressive”, and started grappling with Gda Dalton. He ripped his radio and torch from his person.

Garda Dalton said he raised his arm to shield himself and was bitten by the accused on the hand. The two men ended up on the ground and Halpin was initially subdued.

However, Halpin managed to free himself and bit Gda Dalton on the knee.

The garda suffered a bone fracture in his hand, along with the two bites and an injury to his groin. He could not return to duty for six months as a result.

The court heard that Halpin had returned from a six-month internship in the US that evening and had met with friends over drinks.

He said Halpin had little recollection of the incident and was horrified by his behaviour as recounted by his mother the following morning.

Judge Melanie Greally said this was a very serious incident of assault that left injuries to the unfortunate garda “who was carrying out an act of considerable kindness”.

She imposed a two-year prison sentence, deferred until April 1.

Judge Greally said she would discharge the indictment if Halpin was compliant with a bond to keep the peace until that date.

Judge Greally also directed the defendant, who has no previous convictions, to hand over the sum of €3,000, which he had with him in court, to Little Blue Heroes, a charity that had been nominated by Gda Dalton.

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