Man arrested for calling cops when wife wouldn't go to bed says Gardaí are sick of him

Roger Hunt said he doesn't get invited to barbecues in the estate because of all the police activity

Roger Hunt called police because wife Natalie would not get off the couch in their home

Alan Sherry

A former government employee who called Gardaí because his wife was lying on the couch and wouldn't go to bed has said officers told him they were sick of him calling them.

Roger Hunt (49), from Dundoogan, Clermont Road, Heynestown, Co. Louth, was fined €105 at Dundalk District Court earlier this month for being intoxicated in a public place and using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour at his home on September 8, 2020.

The court heard that Roger and his wife Natalie regularly call Gardaí before Judge Eirinn McKiernan told him gardaí "can't sort out your domestic problems for you" - before fining him.

Mr Hunt told the Sunday World this week that he has called the Gardaí around 17 times in the past two years, has been threatened with eviction and doesn't get invited to barbecues in the estate because of all the police activity.

"We've had the guards up to the house a few times for arguments and stuff like that."

A garda gave evidence in court that he had been called to the couple's home at 3.20am on September 8, 2020 and Mr Hunt told him he wanted his wife, who was lying on the couch, to go to bed.

The officer said he told him that it wasn't a matter for gardaí.

Mr Hunt told the Sunday World they had been drinking and had an argument.

Roger Hunt chats with our man Alan Sherry

He said gardaí asked him to come outside to speak to them and then asked him to get into the patrol car and go back to the station to get away from the house - but he refused to do so and they arrested him for intoxication.

"I said no. They said we're sick of you calling us, you're under arrest. They put me up against the car in cuffs. I ended up in the cell for five hours and had to walk home. Then I'm up in court and I get a conviction. They do it all the time."

His wife, Natalie, added: "They say they do it to teach us a lesson."

Mr Hunt said: "Yeah, because we're calling them so much. In two years, they were called 17 times."

Natalie said: "I think it's more to do with the fact they're dying for one of us to bring charges against the other - but because we won't they're trying to force us to do it."

Natalie said she had mental health issues, which haven't been properly diagnosed, and that's why Mr Hunt has called Gardaí a number of times as he feared she would harm herself or others.

They had both previously been homeless before moving into the house and say some neighbours in the estate have called the guards on them a number of times after hearing them rowing, but the couple claim they hadn't done anything on those occasions.

They added that they don't get on with some people living in the estate, and one person knocked on their door at one in the morning before running off giggling.

The couple said they were previously threatened with eviction from the house, but that didn't materialise.

"We seem to be the only ones who got picked on. They were trying to evict us," Roger said.

He said the Garda activity at their house has led to them not being invited to some social gatherings in the estate.

"One person keeps spreading rumours about us. They tell people, don't invite us to barbecues or social gatherings because we have the guards to our house."

Natalie added: "A guard came to the house one night and shouted in my face saying I'm sick and tired of you. He said if you carry on, I'm getting you both kicked out of here."

Natalie said because of her mental health issues they can't kick them out.

"It's against the law for them to throw me out, I think that's what's niggling everybody. That's why the guards are being called on us."

She admitted she was involved in an incident where she called to the home of someone in the estate in a rage.

"I kind of lost the plot a little bit and tried to have a go [at someone] but I couldn't get to her.

"Apparently, I hit her husband, but I have no memory of hitting him at all.

"I remember knocking on the door shouting, but after that I don't remember anything."

She said she didn't face charges over that incident

"I was basically told to write apology letters to the people involved that night and nothing else happened."

Natalie said she believes she has mental health issues that haven't been properly diagnosed.

"I think the guards think we're making it up. One of the guards basically said Mr Hunt was attention seeker.

"They just think we're extreme alcoholics and we can't help ourselves."

Natalie said she has hit at Mr Hunt on several occasions but he has never pressed charges as he knows she doesn't mean it.

"There were times I would lash out at Roger violently, physically. I didn't mean to do it; I just wasn't myself.

"They're just pi**ed off because Roger was ringing them because it would stop me lashing out.

"They'd ask then why don't you charge her and he'd say because she's sick."

She said she was previously the victim of a brutal attack herself by another man when she stepped in to defend a woman who was being attacked while they were drinking in a square in Drogheda.

"One thing I can't stand is violence against women. I know I can be violent against men but I'm working on that."

Mr Hunt added: "I don't stand for violence against women either. I don't hit back. Well, I've hit Natalie back twice, no sorry, three times in five years and I regret it. I'll never forgive myself,"

The pair said they have cut back on drinking in recent times and haven't called the Gardaí in a while.

"We used to drink six days a week. He could have 24/30 cans a day and nothing and then other days he could have three cans and be locked," according to Natalie

Mr Hunt said he wouldn't be intoxicated after three cans and said he was a "seasoned drinker".

She added: "The guards haven't been up at this house in at least four or five months and they're acting like it's every day.

"It was never every day, maybe once a month. I know that's not great but it's not like it's every day."

Mr Hunt said he has 40 previous convictions mostly for intoxication and related offences.

He said he was previously given a three-month sentence for public order offences after he allegedly abused gardaí and shouted a Hawaii Five-O reference as a warning to friends who were trespassing in a derelict building.

Gardaí said he shouted "five-o, five-o", as well as "will you leave us alone" and "f*** off".

Asked by Judge Patrick McHugh what this meant, the garda replied: "I presume it was a reference to (the 1970s' US TV series) Hawaii Five-O. He was warning people that gardaí were on their way into the building."

He was arrested for failing to leave the scene after being directed to do so by gardaí.

Mr Hunt claimed to the Sunday World that it was teenagers who shouted 'five-o' and not him.

He previously worked in the Department of Justice on Mount Street dealing with refugees, but said he lost his job years ago and is currently on welfare.

He said he had issues, including arthritis in his knees and back and a fractured shoulder.

"Jobseekers keep getting onto me asking to go in. I went for disability three times but they keep telling me I'm not disabled enough."

He said between them the couple have had to pay out hundreds of euro in fines.

"I'm getting all the fines which I can't afford to pay.

"That's one of the reasons why we don't have carpet on the hall, stairs and landing. We can't afford it because of all the fines," Mr Hunt added.

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