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Court hears man threatened Garda that he would 'eat her face and leave her unrecognisable'

Martin O’Callaghan made the threat after seriously assaulting a pensioner.

A 31-YEAR-OLD WEST Clare man threatened a female Garda that he would eat her face and leave her unrecognisable while en route by ambulance to hospital, a court has heard.

Martin O’Callaghan made the threat to Garda Ann Marie Hughes as he was being brought by ambulance from a scene at Kilrush where he had carried out a serious assault on a 69-year old local man on a public road that left the pensioner with a brain injury. 

According to evidence from Detective Garda Donal Corkery at Ennis Circuit Court, CCTV footage shows O’Callaghan knocking over Anthony O’Brien on Pella Rd and punching O’Brien with force on numerous occasions into the face while he was on the ground.

O’Callaghan of Beech Park, John Paul Estate, Kilrush has pleaded guilty to seven charges from the rampage including the assault causing harm of Anthony O’Brien along with an assault on Garda Hughes.

O’Callaghan is currently on remand in custody pending sentencing and opposing a bail application for O’Callaghan to allow him to attend a residential detox clinic, Corkery said that the offences were carried out while O’Callaghan was on bail for a separate assault charge.

Corkery stated that Anthony O’Brien was found lying on Pella Road bleeding from his face at 6.15pm on 15 August last year when gardaí arrived at the scene.

Corkery stated as a result of the injuries that he sustained, Anthony O’Brien had to remain in hospital for two weeks.

Detective Corkery said that before the assault on Anthony O’Brien, O’Callaghan carried out an unprovoked assault on his son, David O’Brien (33) and then forced entry into David O’Brien’s home and picked up a butter knife and threatened him with it.

O’Callaghan was arrested by gardaí at 6.45pm and at the scene was feeling feel sick and empty retching and coming in and out of consciousness.

Corkery stated that an ambulance arrived at the scene at 8.10pm and two gardaí accompanied O’Callaghan in the ambulance to University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Corkery stated that O’Callaghan was aggressive and had to be restrained while in the ambulance.

Corkery stated that O’Callaghan was spitting all over the internal walls of the ambulance.

On the way to hospital, Corkery said that O’Callaghan threatened a female garda “that he would eat her face and make her unrecognisable”. 

Corkery stated that gardaí had numerous difficulties if O’Callaghan secured bail as gardaí had doubts that O’Callaghan would arrive at the detox clinic and complete the course there.

The O’Brien family also opposed the bail application, Corkery said. 

He added that they “find it appalling that Mr O’Callaghan is looking for treatment after nearly serving a year and a half in prison when they believe he should be clean”.

Judge Gerald Keys expressed frustration that there is no secure detox clinic to provide treatment for the likes of O’Callaghan.

Judge Keys stated that if such centres were in place, they would make great savings through the prevention of alcohol and drug-fuelled crime.

Judge Keys stated that he was “delighted there is a journalist in court here today”.

He stated: “At least I am coming to the end of my tenure and in some ways I am looking forward to it because I find it totally frustrating to be confronted with this situation.”

Judge Keys told  O’Callaghan that with regret he was refusing his bail application.

Judge Keys remanded ‘repeat offender’ O’Callaghan in custody to 11 February next for sentence.

Comments have been closed as the case is still before the courts