Laghey man gets 4 month sentence for obstructing gardai

A garda investigating rape suffered a cruciate ligament injury when the suspect resisted arrest, a court heard yesterday.

The rapist, Martin O’Hara, 25, is already serving six years for his crime, but he appeared at Donegal District Court on other offences linked to the investigation.

The court was told that a number of squad cars arrived at his mother’s remote rural home in Carrickbarr, Laghey, during the investigation and he was asleep on the couch

While he was resisting arrest, a garda suffered a cruciate ligament injury and was off duty for a considerable time since the incident on September 29, 2010, but had recovered.

Defence solicitor Paudge Dorrian said O’Hara would have gone to a local Garda station to answer questions had he been asked.

Instead, a number of squad cars, with lights flashing, arrived at the house and O’Hara resisted when he awoke.

Mr Dorrian said his client was frightened and didn’t set out to injure anybody.

Judge Kevin Kilrane, when told O’Hara, a father of two, was sentenced to six years in another court for admitted rape, said that the gardai were investigating a very serious allegation of rape. It was essential for them to move in as quickly as possible.

He added that the “swoop on the house” was justified in the investigation.

The judge imposed a four-month sentence for obstruction – which O’Hara admitted - in the incident in which the garda suffered his injury, and for possession of €10 of cannabis on a later occasion.

The sentence was to start yesterday alongside the six years O’Hara is already serving for rape.