Man called gardai “red hot” before punching him in the face

Man called gardai “red hot” before punching him in the face

24-year-old Dean Kellet told a group of undercover gardai that they were “red hot” before boxing one of them in the face.

Dublin District Court heard that the well-known phrase meant that he knew they were gardai.

Kellet ran off after making the remark, knocking down two pedestrians.

Garda Sean Burns said he was on plain-clothes duty with two colleagues on Lower O'Connell Street when they met the accused, who was "continually staring at us".

Kellet ran to the Abbey Hostel where he slammed the door in Garda Burns’ face.

The officer then pushed the door open.

"He (Kellett) stepped back, swung his fist and smacked me in the face with a punch," Garda Burns said.

As he was put to the ground, Kellett said they "were not guards", at which point Garda Burns produced his badge and said he was a garda.

"As he was placed in a garda car, he was still maintaining that we were not gardai," Garda Burns said.

Another garda told the court "red hot" meant "I know you are gardai".

"Have you never described somebody as hot in your life?" the accused's barrister asked.

"That is a very personal question," the garda replied.

A bench warrant was issued for Kellet's arrest after he failed to appear in court for his trial.

Kellett, of Rose Cottage, Vicar Street, Kilkenny, had pleaded not guilty to obstructing Garda Burns at Bachelors Walk on Dublin's quays on January 3.

Judge Dermot Dempsey found him guilty in his absence and issued a warrant for his arrest and sentencing.