A man who assaulted a Garda at Letterkenny Garda Station following his arrest has been remanded in custody.
Andrew Bladek was arrested on Wednesday for a public order offence at the Bus Eireann bus station in Letterkenny.
The 23-year-old, who has different addresses in Ballybofey, was charged with three offences at the bus station. He is also charged with assaulting Garda Gary Porter-Farren at Letterkenny Garda Station.
Bladek, who was also charged with the theft of a bottle of crème de cassis liqueur valued at €12.99 from Aldi, Ballybofey on September 5, 2023, was brought before Letterkenny District Court on Thursday.
Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that Gardai were objecting to bail.
Sergeant Collins said Bladek has 17 previous convictions and told the court that the alleged offences were committed while the accused was on bail. Bladek, Sergeant Collins said, had been granted bail with conditions attached on four occasions since June.
Among the conditions were that Bladek observe a curfew from 9pm-9am and sign on twice daily at a Garda station.
Bladek was located at Bus Eireann in Letterkenny at 9.05pm on Wednesday. Sergeant Collins said he was ‘quite a distance’ from his residence and there was also an allegation that a condition that he remain sober was also breached.
Sergeant Collins said there was a strong likelihood of Bladek reoffending. “We also have concerns, as evidenced by a plethora of offences, that he is a young man who doesn’t seem to be able to abide by bail conditions,” Sergeant Collins said.
Rory O’Brien, solicitor for Bladek, said his client was hospitalised after being bitten by a dog on Wednesday. Mr O’Brien said his client has been attempting to make efforts with rehabilitation.
Put in the witness box by his solicitor, Bladek told Judge Éiteáin Cunningham: “Drinking is the problem.”
Bladek said he had an opportunity to begin a term in White Oaks on Monday next. He said he has ‘a serious drinking problem’ which began when he was 18.
Sergeant Collins asked Bladkek if he was living in a tent in a forest for a period. ‘No’, replied the accused.
Bladek told the court that he also has a problem with drugs. “I only take cannabis to stop me from drinking,” he said. “Cannabis doesn’t make me violent or anything.”
Mr O’Brien said Bladek was suffering from an ‘ongoing and very life-destroying addiction that he struggles with’.
“He is within touching distance of the necessary help,” Mr O’Brien said. “He has blighted his early years with alcohol and drugs. Prison isn’t rehab on the cheap nor should it be.”
Judge Cunningham said that, while Bladek came before the court as an innocent man, she found that the prosecution had established the likelihood of Bladek attempting to evade justice. Judge Cunningham said the court was satisfied that refusing bail was considered reasonably necessary.
Bladek was remanded in custody to appear before Letterkenny District Court on Monday, September 25.