Cannabis grower set vicious dog on three gardai

NewsBy Sunday World
A pitbull, which was believed to be the dog used in the vile attack
A pitbull, which was believed to be the dog used in the vile attack

A man set his pitbull on three gardai before stabbing them, a court has heard.

The vicious attack saw the dog bite a garda's arm "to the bone" after the owner shouted: "Attack, Chico!"

The same officer was left with facial scarring as he tried to restrain the knife-wielding attacker.

Details of the incident were outlined before Dundalk Circuit Court yesterday.

Keith Plummer (40), of Sunhill, Termonfeckin, Co Louth, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for the attack which happened last May.

Two officers were bitten, with one sustaining a serious arm injury from which he has not recovered and facial scarring.

Plummer, who had a knife, also lunged at the three gardai, injuring them all.

He admitted assault causing harm as well as cultivating cannabis and possession of a knife.

The court heard he ordered the dog to attack after the gardai managed to get into his then home as they executed a search warrant.

When they arrived and tried to get the door open, Plummer shouted that somebody must have "ratted" on him, Judge Michael O'Shea was told.

When the officers managed to force the door, Plummer was very aggressive and produced a large knife with a six-inch blade.

The first garda went to restrain him and Plummer shouted: "Attack, Chico!"

The dog, described as a pitbull or similar, jumped up and bit the officer on the arm. The dog's teeth went through to the bone, and he was forced to let go of Plummer to get the dog off him.

Plummer also stabbed the garda, leaving him with a scar on his face and wrist.

The second officer used pepper spray to restrain Plummer, but was bitten on the leg and stabbed in the knee.

The third garda was stabbed in the hand and suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon.

It is understood the dog has since been destroyed.

All three officers attended counselling and two were diag- nosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

The first garda has had to have surgery on his knee and only has 70pc power in the arm that the dog bit. The second has a permanent scar on his leg from the bite and his knee injury affected his ability to play sport. The third has problems with his Achilles tendon.

Plummer had more than €8,000 worth of cannabis plants growing in the attic of the house and at the time was a heavy abuser of cannabis.

Defence barrister John Costello put it to Gda Sgt Fearghal O'Toole that the cannabis was for Plummer's own use and he accepted that.

Plummer apologised to the gardai for his actions.

Judge O'Shea said the assaults were vicious, violent and savage, and imposed three-and-a-half-year terms for each one. He jailed Plummer for 12 months for having the cannabis and three years for producing the knife. All are to run concurrently.

Via Keogh