Man in court for headbutting Garda and spitting blood in his face

June 19, 2024

A man has appeared in court after allegedly headbutting a Garda, spitting blood on his face and assaulting a woman at a Buncrana Hotel.

Rodney Bonnes appeared at Letterkenny District Court via video link.

Bonnes, a 39-year-old with an address at Kinsale Park in Derry, faces a series of charges over alleged incidents on June 12, 2024.

Bonnes is charged with assaulting Garda Kenneth Merritt and causing him harm by spitting blood in his face at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.

Bonnes is also charged with assaulting Garda Merritt by headbutting him and causing him harm.

Bonnes faces a further charge of assault causing harm to a woman by punching her in the face at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.

The charges are contrary to section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997.

He is charged that, at Buncrana Garda Station, he did obstruct a member of An Garda Siochana, Detective Garda Kieran Kelly, during the course of his duties.

The charge is contrary to section 160(2) of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014.

Bonnes is also charged that he, without lawful excuse, damaged property at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, namely that he smashed a bedside lamp and soiled a second bedside lamp with blood splatters.

Bonnes also faces a charge of being intoxicated in a public place.
Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the allegations were “concerning” and that a Garda has had to go through blood tests following the incident.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the matter until Monday, June 24.