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Court case Man accused of assaulting two gardaí claims officer injured her hand while beating him

Phillip Kavanagh has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault causing harm on Garda Theresa Moore and of assaulting Garda Conor Mohan

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

A man accused of assaulting two gardaí claims one of the officers injured her hand in the process of beating him in the back of a patrol car after he was arrested.

Phillip Kavanagh (34), of Cherry Orchard Drive, Ballyfermot, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault causing harm on Garda Theresa Moore at Ailward Green, Cappagh Road, Finglas, on 7 January 2017, and of assaulting Garda Conor Mohan in the same incident.

On Tuesday his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the two officers were on patrol when they were called to a disturbance at the Focus Ireland supported housing complex at Ailward Green around 11.30pm that night.

Garda Moore told Eoin Lawlor, BL, prosecuting, that they called to Mr Kavanagh’s door and asked to come in to check on the welfare of other people in the house, but he stated “aggressively” that they “weren’t coming in”, she said.

“He had no top on and he was drunk,” she said. “I asked him to take his finger down from my face.”

Her colleague, Garda Conor Mohan, told the court Mr Kavanagh was in an “aggressive stance” with his fists clenched, and was speaking through gritted teeth.

“I tried to reason with him – that we just wanted to check on the safety of the others in the house,” he said.

“You’ll have to take me out,” was the response. “It was like he was looking for a fight, like he was looking for a physical confrontation. I believed he was involved in the original dispute.”

“The hand went from down beside him and [into] I believe a punching stance to lash out at Garda Moore,” he said.

At that point, he said, he arrested Mr Kavanagh, cuffed his hands behind his back, and cautioned him, and the two officers brought him through the complex to the patrol car – with Garda Moore getting in the back with him.

“As I was getting in on the driver’s side at the back, he launched at me. He kept trying to launch towards me in the back of the vehicle. I would’ve had my left hand down on his back and my right hand down on his neck, keeping him down,” Gda Moore said.

She said Mr Kavanagh was calling her a “kinky bitch” and told her: “wait til I get you”, she said.

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The restraint position she was attempting to use meant Kavanagh’s head had to be between his legs, she said, but he began throwing his head back at her.

“The second or third time that Mr Kavanagh went to lunge back, his head connected with my hand. I felt instant pain and heard a pop.”

They were just arriving to Finglas Garda station when it happened, she said, and as Kavanagh was taken into custody, she reported to her sergeant to seek medical help.

At James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, her hand was initially put in a splint.

“My hand was sprained, my knuckles were broken and my wrist was fractured,” she said.

Cross-examining Garda Moore, John Moher BL, defending, read from Mr Kavanagh’s statement.

“For the two to three minutes it took to get to the station, that guard battered me about,” he read.

“I’m putting it to you that in the course of so doing, that’s when you injured yourself,” he said.

“I deny that,” Garda Moore said.

The trial continues on Wednesday before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

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