A Letterkenny man who Gardai claimed tried to punch a woman in the face at a fast-food restaurant has been ordered to keep the peace for a year.
Adrian Brogan had stopped off for something to eat at the Four Lanterns restaurant in Letterkenny on December 13th last year.
However, a row ensued and Brogan ended up in a scuffle with a young woman and her friend.
Garda Sean Barrett told Letterkenny District Court that when he arrived at the restaurant, Brogan was about to swing and punch a woman.
However, he was stopped when another Garda managed to pull his hand.
Brogan, of 25 McGinley Road, Letterkenny was charged with using threatening and abusive language in a public place – a charge he denied.
Garda Sean Barrett that only for another Garda managed to step in, Brogan could have caused the woman a serious injury.
“If that punch had not been deflected, that woman could have received a very serious injury,” claimed Garda Barrett.
Brogan was eventually pepper-sprayed and was brought to Milford Garda station.
Garda Barrett said he drove the accused home the following morning and said he was very apologetic and admitted he had very little memory of what happened.
However, when giving evidence Mr Brogan had a completely different story of what had happened.
He said he had ben standing with his hands in his pockets when a woman, whom he did not know, got into his face and began abusing him.
He said he merely pushed her away and that is when Gardai arrived and pepper-sprayed him.
He said he had gone into the Four Lanterns the following day having been released by Gardai and viewed the CCTV footage with the manager on duty.
He said the CCTV footage showed the woman approaching him for not reason and getting into his face.
It also showed him pushing the woman away in self-defense.
He added that he would never strike a woman and if he had, he would have admitted it.
Garda Barrett said he went to view the CCTV footage a number of weeks later but it had been erased.
Judge Paul Kelly said Mr Brogan was not charged with assault but using threatening and abusive behaviour and that Garda Barrett’s evidence was clear.
“He should not have responded the way he did and that led to him being pepper-sprayed. I find the facts proved,” said Judge Kelly.
He ordered Brogan to keep the peace for a period of 12 months.