Man accused of attacking judge in court wants bail conditions relaxed

Judge Miriam Walsh
Judge Miriam Walsh

A 31-YEAR-OLD man accused of attacking a judge following a court hearing in Dublin is looking to have a strict bail condition relaxed.

He is accused of assaulting Judge Miriam Walsh who was hospitalised after she was allegedly punched and kicked following a district court hearing on December 11 last.

The man, who had been remanded in custody at early in the proceedings, was later granted bail on condition he signs on twice daily at a garda station.

Dublin District Court heard today that the State needed another four weeks to obtain directions from the DPP. It was the man's sixth appearance since being charged.

Defence solicitor Peter Connolly said he would have no objection so long as the DPP's directions would be available in four weeks.

Mr Connolly also said his client wanted to make an application to have one of his bail terms reduced. He said the accused has to sign on twice daily at a garda station but he has found this “onerous”.

The court will decide next week on whether the bail condition will be amended. Meanwhile the prosecution have been let have four weeks to obtain the DPP's directions.

The accused, who took up bail on December 29th, sat silently throughout the proceedings. Earlier the court heard that  the signing-on requirement imposed on the defendant was one of the reasons why bail had been granted.

Directions from the DPP are required to help determine if the case should be dealt with in the jurisdiction of the District Court or instead should go forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

The defendant, who has not yet entered a plea, was remanded on continuing bail. The court has heard that he is currently unemployed but is looking for work or maybe resume his education.

His other bail conditions state he must stay away from the Dolphin House district court building in the city-centre where he allegedly assaulted and caused harm to Judge Miriam Walsh on December 11th last. He has to reside at an address furnished to the court and notify gardai of any change of residence.

Judge Miriam Walsh had been presiding over a case involving two parents and their adult son in which a protection order was sought; the proceedings were at the district court in Dolphin House in central Dublin.

The judge was allegedly punched and kicked and brought to hospital however her injuries were not serious and she was later released.

Gardai arrested the man and he was later charged with assault causing harm to Judge Walsh.

He was held in custody overnight and brought to appear before Dublin District Court the following day. Det Gda Francis Byrne had then said the man “made no reply” when he was charged with the offence.

At his first hearing on December 12th, the court had heard it was alleged Judge Miriam Walsh had been assaulted in court and was punched and kicked, and suffered bruising.

The garda agreed with defence solicitor Peter Connolly that the defendant had never been in trouble before and has no history of bench warrants for failing to attend hearings. 

Mr Connolly had said the defendant, who is from Dublin, has Asperger syndrome and was vulnerable.