Accused in Higginbottom ear case appears in court

A man who is charged in connection with a serious assault appeared at a bail hearing in Kilcock District Court last Tuesday, May 1.

A man who is charged in connection with a serious assault appeared at a bail hearing in Kilcock District Court last Tuesday, May 1.

However, before the issue of bail was decided, Mark White whose address is listed as 1613 Pairc Mhuire, Newbridge, was jailed for contempt after he described the hearing as a “kangaroo court”.

Mr. White was arrested the previous day by Garda Seamus Doyle on foot of a bench warrant.

Garda Doyle gave evidence that when arrested, Mr. White commented that it was “more bullshit from the handicapped Guards”.

He also told the garda after he was arrested: “You’re such a retard”.

And he warned: “This won’t get near a court, I’ll make sure of that”. He also, the court heard, made similar comments whilst in custody.

On that basis, the garda feared Mr White was planning to interfere with potential witnesses, and that was one of his objections to bail.

His other objections were that Mr White was, he believed, a flight risk. “He has been out of the jurisdiction in the past few weeks,” Garda Doyle said.

Mr White has also attracted 18 previous bench warrants (warrants issued for the arrest of person who fails to appear in court) since 2006, and Garda Doyle objected to bail on that basis as well.

Garda Doyle’s fourth basis for objecting to bail was the seriousness of the charges against Mr. White.

Court papers reval that Mr. White faces charges of threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour on Market Square last October 19 and, over the course of February 13 and 14, 2011 with allegedly tying up Brendan Higginbottom, cuting off his ear and making him eat it.

“It is also alleged he beat him up and tortured him,” Inspector Paul Dolan told Judge Desmond Zaidan.

The judge told the inspector that the State should also consider further charges, such as false imprisonment.

Representing Mr White, and standing in for David Gibbons, David Powderly wondered “whether in the context of a bail hearing the judge’s comments were appropriate”.

But Judge Zaidan noted that he had made it clear all of the allegations were just that, allegations, and that he had acknowledged this before making his comments.

Mr White interupted proceedings to note that “a fella with 24 charges against him has fingered me. This is a kangaroo court”.

“Right, seven days in custody for contempt,” Judge Zaidan said.

“Thanks,” Mr White replied as he was being removed from court.

For logistical reasons, Mr White appeared before Kilcock District Court on Friday, May 4, rather than waiting the full seven days.

When he appeared his solicitor David Gibbons renewed the application for bail on the assualt charge, which Judge Zaidan, quoting the Gardai’s objections as outlined in the Tuesday sitting of the court, formally refused.

He adjourned the matter back to the forthcoming court sitting on Thursday, May 10. Mr. Gibbons declined to have his client assesed while in custody saying he didn’t believe there was a phychological issue.