Highly intoxicated man threatened to rape garda sergeant's wife
TULLAMORE District Court was told a man had consumed an “enormous” amount of alcohol on the night he threatened to rape the wife of a garda sergeant.
Roary McHugh, 28, Turlough, Castlebar, pleaded guilty to committing a number of offences at Norbury Woods, Tullamore and Tullamore garda station on October 23 last year.
Sergeant James O'Sullivan said that at 1.20am on that date, when the accused was drunk, he grabbed the stab vest of Garda Alan Burke and when a struggle ensued both were brought to the ground.
Sergeant Richard Thornton came to assist and in his drunken condition the man threatened to rape the sergeant's wife. There were no injuries caused by the struggle.
Sergeant O'Sullivan told Judge Catherine Staines the accused had 50 previous convictions, including two for public order offences dating back to 2014.
He had also previously been disqualified from driving for dangerous driving and had been convicted of driving without insurance.
Guilty pleas to the offences were entered by the man's solicitor, Donal Farrelly.
He admitted public drunkenness and a breach of the peace, plus an assault on Garda Alan Burke at Norbury Woods, Tullamore.
He also admitted damaging a garda's shirt and threatening Sergeant Richard Thornton by threatening to cause serious harm to his wife at the garda station.
Mr Farrelly said Mr McHugh was a machine driver. He had been taken into care when he was young and then had been in foster care.
The accused, who accepted the prosecution was a very serious matter, had serious alcohol issues and had consumed an enormous amount of alcohol when stopped by the gardai.
Mr Farrelly handed in letters of apology and deep regret, along wit a letter from the man's doctor and employer.
Judge Catherine Staines described the incident as an awful one where the accused was highly intoxicated and said some frightening things to the gardai.
She said alcohol wasn't an excuse for what the man had done but she noted that he only had two public order convictions and they went back six years.
Having read the letters, she noted the man's employer said he was very surprised to hear about the case and said he's hardworking and an all round good person.
She also noted a report from a psychologist who said he had been attending the service and engaging and working with all of the difficult issues in his past.
Judge Staines said she believed the letters to the gardai are genuine and expressed his deep disgust at what he said to them and he did not mean what he said.
She said the man dealing with all of his issues and said he was off alcohol so she would deal with the matter by means of a suspended sentence.
She sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for one year on his own bond €100 on condition that he stay off alcohol.