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Man convicted of violent disorder who told garda 'you are dead' avoids jail

Glen Lieghio, 20, threw “anything he could find” at gardaí during the incident, a court heard.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A YOUTH WHO played a role in attacking gardaí with a “barrage of missiles” as they attempted to investigate reports of a stolen car being driven dangerously in Dublin has avoided a jail term.

Glen Lieghio, 20, who was in a group of 20 to 30 youths, threw “anything he could find” at the gardaí and addressed one by name, telling him: ‘Next time you are in Darndale, you are dead.’

A second garda escaped injury after a rock thrown at him instead hit a mobile phone in his pocket.

Lieghio, of Buttercup Park, Darndale pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder and criminal damage at Marigold Avenue, Darndale on 24 July 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Karen O’Connor said the gardaí had encountered “extremely violent behaviour” and it was fortunate none of them had been injured. She said it was “unacceptable” that gardaí had come under attack when carrying out their lawful duty.

She noted Lieghio had accepted responsibility for his role and appeared to be genuinely remorseful. She told him he was “on the cusp” and had to put this behaviour behind him.

O’Connor imposed an 18-month sentence which she suspended in full on condition he enter a good behaviour bond and undergo one year’s probation supervision.

Sergeant Brendan Bergin told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, he and a colleague attended a green area in Darndale after receiving a call about a car being driven dangerously there.

Bergin said he observed a large group of youths acting in a disorderly manner. He saw a Nissan Micra drive towards the crowd before crashing a short distance away.

He said the group of youths began to turn on him and his colleague as he approached the car and attempted to make an arrest. He said they sustained a “barrage” of stones, bottles and other missiles.

Drugs and alcohol 

Bergin said he observed Lieghio, amongst the group of 20 to 30 youths, throwing “anything he could find”. He said Lieghio told him: “Brendan I will get you, you bastard, and next time you are in Darndale you are dead.”

He said other gardaí arrived to help them but they were outnumbered and forced to withdraw from the area. He said Lieghio and a number of youths were still throwing missiles, some of which narrowly missed him.

Bergin said he observed a colleague, Garda James Mulhern, being hit with a rock thrown by Lieghio. It struck him just above the hip impacting with and smashing his mobile phone.

He said as they left the area youths continued to run towards the patrol car and throw items. Lieghio, who had been recognised at the scene, was arrested several days later.

Defence counsel, Pieter Le Vert BL, said Lieghio had instructed him to apologise to the gardaí.

Le Vert said his client had fallen in with a bad crowd and had been abusing drugs and alcohol at the time. He said Lieghio has since become a father and taken steps to change his ways. He said his client was willing to continue this work.

He said Lieghio lives with his mother, who is in ill health, and assists in the care of a sibling. He said his client had been injured in a car crash two years ago and is not in employment.

Read: Mayo pensioner, found asleep in car with dog while engine was running, was six times over legal limit

Read: ‘Bit of an eejit’ who got ‘swept up’ in cocaine handover loses appeal to reduce sentence

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Fiona Ferguson

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