Garda bitten after driving home man found lying in vomit beside road
Officer missed six months of work after incident involving Shane Halpin (25) in Lusk
Shane Halpin (25), of Fouillard Lane, Lusk, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Garda Derek Dalton causing him harm on September 2nd, 2018. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.
A man attacked and bit a garda who drove him home after he was found lying in his own vomit on the side of a road in north Co Dublin.
Shane Halpin (25) of Fouillard Lane, Lusk, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Garda Derek Dalton causing him harm at his home address on September 2nd, 2018. Halpin has no previous convictions.
Sgt John Cannon told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that in the early hours of the date in question gardaí received a call about a person lying unconscious on the side of the road at Blakes Cross, Lusk.
Sgt Cannon said that Halpin was intoxicated and appeared to have vomited on himself. Garda Dalton decided to bring him home and called for a garda van.
Garda Dalton was concerned that Haplin might not have given the correct address, so he knocked on the door and asked the accused’s mother if Halpin was welcome there. After she said he was, Halpin emerged from the van and was “quite aggressive”, the court heard.
Halpin started grappling with Garda Dalton and ripped his radio and torch from his person. Garda Dalton raised his arm to shield himself and was bitten by the accused on the hand.
The two men ended up on the ground and Halpin was initially subdued. However, he managed to free himself and bit Garda Dalton on the knee.
Garda Dalton suffered a fracture to a bone in his hand along with the two bites and an injury to his groin. The court heard he could not return to duty for six months as a result.
Sgt Cannon told the court that Halpin had met friends for drinks that evening after returning from a six month internship in the US. He said Halpin had little recollection of the incident and was horrified by his behaviour when it was recounted to him the following morning.
Judge Melanie Greally said this was a very serious incident of assault that left injuries to the unfortunate garda “who was carrying out an act of considerable kindness”.
Judge Greally said it appeared to have been a “hugely aberrational” event committed by a young man who she described as being “very unlikely to cross the threshold of a courtroom again”.
She imposed an indicative sentence of two years imprisonment and deferred the sentence until April 1st. She said that if Halpin was compliant with a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour to that date then she would make an order discharging him from the indictment.
Judge Greally also directed that Halpin hand over €3,000, which he had with him in court, to Little Blue Heroes, a charity nominated by Garda Dalton.