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Thug who threw “anything he could find” at and threatened gardai avoids jail

Thug who threw “anything he could find” at and threatened gardai avoids jail

A youth who played a role in attacking gardai with a “barrage of missiles” as they attempted to investigate reports of a stolen car being driven dangerously 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 gardai 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, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder and criminal damage at Marigold Avenue, Darndale on July 24, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

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

She noted that 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.

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

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

Sgt 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.

Sgt 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 gardai 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.

Sgt 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 gardai.

Mr 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.