Traffic warden fell onto car bonnet during assault


AN Irvinestown man assaulted a traffic warden who had issued him with a ticket as his car was parked too close to a junction.
Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard on Monday that on October 17th last, police were alerted to a report of an assault at Irvinestown in which a traffic warden had been injured after issuing a ticket.
The court was told the warden had observed a Saab vehicle belonging to Dylan O’Hara (24) parked outside his home at Fairgreen Street in the town. A warning was issued to O’Hara as the car was parked within 15 metres of a junction. The defendant came out of his home and was verbally aggressive but refused to move his vehicle. A ticket was then issued which O’Hara threw on the ground before pushing the warden twice in the chest. He also shouldered the injured party and he fell onto the bonnet of the car.
O’Hara was later interviewed at Omagh police station when he admitted to officers that he had pushed the traffic warden because he had been “in his face” as he tried to get into his car. He also apologised for his behaviour and expressed remorse.
Defence barrister Stephen Fitzpatrick acknowledged that the court took a dim view of the nature of this offence.
“That is not lost on Mr O’Hara and it has been a wake-up call for him. He accepts full responsibility and that the injured party was only doing his job. He has been referred to an addiction unit and for drug and alcohol counselling. His addiction doesn’t excuse his behaviour but it goes some way towards explaining his actions on the date in question.
“He is taking steps and has stopped abusing drugs. He recognises that if he goes down that road, it would leave him in a precarious position,” Mr Fitzpatrick added.
Sentencing O’Hara, district judge Nigel Broderick said: “It’s a very serious matter to assault a traffic warden. He is a public servant doing his job and this type of behaviour won’t be accepted or condoned.”
Mr Fitzpatrick added this client was unable to consent to community service due to his ongoing drug issues.
A probation official added that O’Hara had been deemed unsuitable due to his mental and physical health and that eight unsuccessful attempts had been made to clarify this with his GP.
The judge adjourned the case for one week until Monday next, January 22nd to make further efforts to contact O’Hara’s GP to assess his suitability for community service.

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