A former Labour Party senator who was found guilty of assaulting three gardaí after he was arrested outside the Indiependence Music Festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, has been jailed for three months.
During the sentencing hearing for James Heffernan, 39, of Ballinlyna, Kilfinane, Co Limerick, Judge Brian Sheridan remarked that the qualified primary school teacher was in "complete blanket denial" of his "Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde" behaviour.
The presiding judge stated that Heffernan "blamed everyone but himself" for his three assaults on members of An Garda Síochána, which took place in the summer of 2016 after he was arrested at a festival.
Judge Sheridan said that Heffernan had shown "huge promise" in life. However, for reasons linked to addiction, he had "fallen from grace".
"It's a sad situation. My overall impression is of a lack of reality (by Heffernan). I think the whole case is denoted by a total denial by the defendant of the situation.
"The reality of what happened, I feel, was that the defendant was economic with the truth. One would have expected some form of remorse."
Judge Sheridan said that Heffernan strongly believed that he was the victim of the case in spite of the credible evidence of not only An Garda Síochána but an independent witness.
He jailed Heffernan to a total of three months in jail for the assaults on the gardaí.
Barrister Nikki O'Sullivan, representing Heffernan, said that her client was a "very active contributing member of society" until his career trajectory and personal life "fell off a cliff."
She said Heffernan had issues with his mental health and had been self medicating with marijuana.
Ms O'Sullivan said that her client had gone from having a promising life to one of "utter destitution."
His family are attempting to support him and he is pursuing further education.
She said her client has become calmer in recent months now that he is taking positive steps to reach a mental health diagnosis.
At a hearing of the court earlier this year, Heffernan was convicted of two common assault charges and one of assault causing harm to three members of the Force after he was arrested on 31 July, 2016.
At the trial hearing in December, Heffernan had denied that he assaulted or spat at gardaí following his arrest when he was allegedly ejected from the festival.
He maintained that any suggestion that he was "kung fu kicking a guard in the back" was completely false and that he was never abusive to gardaí.
Gardaí told the court that Heffernan was in an intoxicated state outside the venue and was seen kicking security barriers which fell on to the roadway.
Gardaí had to take him in to custody in Fermoy Garda Station for his own safety as he fell on barriers knocking them to the ground and was a "social danger."
Detective Garda Gerry Murphy said as they attempted to put Heffernan in the garda van, he kicked Sgt Ger Quinn.
He also spat at now-retired Detective Garda Jim Fitzpatrick twice. When they got to the station, Heffernan was aggressive and uncooperative.
Garda Murphy said Heffernan refused to take off his shoes. When they were being taken off he kicked Garda Trevor Sheehan in to the mouth causing it to bleed.
In his evidence, Heffernan said he was frustrated by the decision of gardaí to remove a Miraculous Medal from his neck whilst in custody.
However, he insisted that the mood in custody "was jovial and jocular" and they spoke about "garda pay and conditions." He told gardaí they were "sound as trouts."
Heffernan said his alcohol consumption consisted of whiskey and a few cans. Garda evidence had been that he reportedly told them he was after "a whole heap of porter, whiskey and gin."