Man who allegedly spat at garda brought to court by gardaí in protective gear

Two officers self-isolating as result of teenager Adam Olden’s behaviour, special sitting of Cork district court hears

Adam Olden (19) pictured at a special court sitting in Cork city. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts

Adam Olden (19) pictured at a special court sitting in Cork city. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts

 

A 19-year-old man has been released on bail after he was charged with assaulting a garda whom he allegedly spat at and told he was suffering from coronavirus.

Adam Olden of Leamlara Close, Togher, Cork, accompanied by gardaí wearing protective clothing, was brought before a special sitting of Cork District Court today where was charged with assault and two public order offences.

Mr Olden was charged with assaulting a member of An Garda Síochána at Leamlara Close, Togher, Cork on March 29th contrary to Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.

He was also charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace and to being intoxicated in a public place to such an extent as to be a danger to himself or others.

Sgt Kevin Joyce gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that the charges arose from an incident where gardaí were responding to a call about a domestic matter at Mr Olden’s home.

He said that Mr Olden had threatened his father during a row with him and when gardaí arrived at the scene, they found he was highly intoxicated and became very aggressive towards the two officers who responded.

Sgt Joyce said gardaí would allege that Mr Olden spat at one of the officers and told him that he had coronavirus and that both that officer and his colleague were now self-isolating as a result of Mr Olden’s behaviour.

Sgt Joyce confirmed to Judge John King that two gardaí were now “off the street for 14 days” as a result of Mr Olden’s alleged behaviour. Judge King expressed surprise gardaí were not seeking a remand in custody.

Insp Pat Murphy said that Mr Olden had told gardaí that his comments were intended as “a joke” but he said that gardaí were treating the matter very seriously and were consulting with the DPP about possible further charges.

Defence solicitor Eddie Burke said that Mr Olden was working in the retail sector and, as such, was an essential worker, and he said that Mr Olden’s family had confirmed that he was not showing any symptoms of Covid-19.

Judge King wondered whether Mr Olden should be not self-isolating given the contagious nature of the virus and whether he should be tested as a matter of urgency to see if he had contracted the infection.

Insp Murphy said the State was seeking to have Mr Olden tested but Mr Burke said even if his client agreed to being tested, he would have difficulty obtaining the test as he needed to be assessed by his GP as displaying two symptoms.

Sgt Joyce said gardaí were seeking that Mr Olden reside at his home address which was available to him as part of his bail and that he would keep an 8pm to 6am curfew and present himself at a window to gardaí checking on him.

Insp Murphy said gardaí were also seeking that Mr Olden would abide by all Government directions in relation to Covid-19, including that he would not go beyond 2kms from his home save for specified exempted purposes.

He also said that gardaí were seeking that Mr Olden refrain from all intoxicants and be of good behaviour and Mr Burke confirmed that his client was willing to abide by all such bail conditions being sought by the state.

Judge King remanded Mr Olden on his own bond of €300 and an independent surety of €100 and adjourned the matter until April 1st but dispensed with his attendance on that date once he is complying with his bail terms.