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Man (19) charged after allegedly spitting in garda's face and claiming he has coronavirus

Two members of An Garda Siochana have to go off duty for two weeks arising out of the incident.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated Mar 29th 2020, 3:08 PM

A 19-YEAR-OLD MAN has appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court charged in connection with allegedly spitting at garda in the face having told him he had coronavirus 

Adam Olden, of Leamlara Close in Togher in Cork city,  appeared before Judge John King having been charged with assault and two breaches of the public order act. 

The charges include that Olden at Leamlara Close in Togher did engage in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to provoke a breach of the peace. He was also charged with whilst intoxicated engaging in behaviour which might have endangered himself or others. 

Inspector Pat Murphy told the court that Olden this morning claimed that the Covid 19 remark was a “big joke”.

His family also stated that he wasn’t showing any symptoms of the virus. 

However, as a precautionary measure, two members of An Garda Siochana have to go off duty for two weeks arising out of the incident. 

‘He has taken two gardaí off the streets’

The court was told that gardaí went to the scene of a domestic incident in Togher in the city at 2.30am today.

Sergeant Kevin Joyce said that the alleged accused Adam Olden was “highly intoxicated and aggressive.” 

The teenager was leaving his home and became aggressive with gardaí and spat at a member of the force saying he had Covid-19.  He was taken to the Bridewell Garda Station where he was charged.

Gardaí made no objection to bail but laid out a series of conditions. These included that Olden obey a curfew from 8pm to 6am daily, that gardai have liberty to appear at his doorstep and that the defendant present at the window of his home when they called and that he be of good behaviour. 

They also asked that he follow Government Covid-19 guidelines and not venture further than 2 kilometres from his home. 

The court heard that Olden was employed as an essential service provider as he works at a grocery shop. 

Judge John King was told that gardaí were awaiting directions from the DPP in relation to possible more serious charges. 

Judge King said that he was surprised that gardaí were consenting to bail in the case given that the accused was allegedly taking two gardaí off the streets arising out of his actions. 

“He has taken two gardaí off the streets,” said Judge King.  

Eddie Burke, solicitor, who was representing Olden said that gardai were cognisant of the fact that the alleged defendant had a lot of drink taken and had not come to the attention of gardaí previously. 

Burke said his client would voluntarily consent to having a Covid-19 test. However, Judge King said he didn’t know if Olden would meet the criteria for the test. 

The State is looking for him to be tested which the judge said was perfectly understandable given that he had taken two gardaí from their work.  

Olden’s mother was present in court. She took the stand to say that she would notify gardai if her son failed to comply with the conditions of his bail. 

Olden vowed to keep the conditions of bail including abstaining from all intoxicants and staying at his home address. His mother agreed to provide an independent surety of €100. 

Olden was remanded on bail until his next court appearance on 1 April. The case will be up for mention.  

Judge King warned Olden that he would go straight into custody if he breached the terms of his bail.

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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