A NEWTOWNCUNNINGHAM man head butted two Gardaí and threatened to burn a Garda’s house after a seven-minute high-speed lunchtime chase.
Letterkenny District Court heard that Graham McCarthy (29) of 6 Shona Park, Newtowncunningham had previously failed to carry out community service as instructed by the court.
McCarthy appeared in court charged with incidents on July 16, 2017.
At 1:07pm on the day in question, Garda Smith and Garda Giles received a report of a Ford Fusion driving recklessly on the Letterkenny Road.
The Fusion had collided with another car a Ballinalecky. When the two cars subsequently pulled in, McCarthy punched Joe Gillespie, the driver of the other vehicle, before driving off.
Gardaí pursued McCarthy, activating the blue lights and sirens. The vehicle failed to stop. Gardaí indicated for McCarthy to pull over, but he ignored the instruction and increased his sped.
McCarthy continued at high speed, ‘veering over and back on the wrong side of the road’ at Raymochey’.
McCarthy drove into the island at the Lifford entrance to the Manor Roundabout, where he was arrested on a suspicion of dangerous driving.
McCarthy resisted arrest and told Garda Giles: ‘I know where you live. I’ll remember your face, I promise you that.’
McCarthy continued to be highly abusive and, having been restrained in the back of the patrol car, he head-butted Garda Smith on the side of the head.
Subsequently, McCarthy leaned over and head-butted Garda Giles on the right side of his face before launching a right-footed kick to the left-hand side of Garda Giles’ face.
“He told Garda Giles that he’d burn his house down,” Sergeant Jim Collins told Letterkenny District Court, “and he told both Gardaí that he’d kick the shite out of them.”
At Letterkenny Garda Station, McCarthy refused to prove a breath, blood or urine sample and, after being charged said: ‘This is a small country. I’ll see the Garda. He’ll see then.’
McCarthy was further charged with an incident on June 24, 2017 when, after being stopped by Garda Ryan, he failed to produce documentation and the tax on the vehicle was out of date.
McCarthy has 18 previous convictions and Judge Kelly described as ‘a shocking catalogue of offences’, the cases before him.
“He has addressed his demons in the last while,” said defending solicitor Kieran O’Gorman.
“He was suffering very seriously. He has very little memory or knowledge of what happened on the night. He is not denying it in any way.
“These matters were over a period of time. He has had some difficulties, but he is putting his hands up and stating where he is now and not where he was then.”
McCarthy, a machine technician who works in Derry, said he had ‘done all humanly possible to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future’. He said he had not carried out his community service as he did not want to be in or around Letterkenny.
Judge Paul Kelly said McCarthy had been given community service as an alternative to prison in 2017.
“It is not optional,” Judge Kelly said. “It is given where the offence warrants a custodial sentence.”
Judge Kelly adjourned the case to October 21 and sought a probation and community service report. Judge Kelly ordered that the outstanding community service be completed before that date.
“It is going to be very difficult to avoid a custodial element, given the behaviour and the previous convictions,” Judge Kelly said.Tags: