Judge tells man he is facing 'quite serious charges' after alleged assault of Garda

Judge Tells Man He Is Facing 'Quite Serious Charges' After Alleged Assault Of Garda
At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Judge Alec Gabbett told Mr Mureddu (47) that he is facing charges of allegedly assaulting a Garda and dangerous driving.
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Gordon Deegan

A judge has told anti-vaccine activist, Antonio Mureddu that he is “facing quite serious charges” after returning him to trial to the circuit court.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Judge Alec Gabbett told Mr Mureddu (47) that he is facing charges of allegedly assaulting a Garda and dangerous driving.


Judge Gabbett sent Mr Mureddu forward for trial to Ennis Circuit Court concerning the alleged assault of Garda James Hanley with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detention of himself for an alleged offence, dangerous driving at Knockanean outside Ennis on August 10th 2021.

The charge is contrary to Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act, (Public Order Act) 1994 and State Solicitor for Clare, Aisling Casey, told the court the dangerous driving charges are to be added to the circuit court indictment at a later date.

Mr Mureddu has been on remand in custody since March 13th and the accused, formerly of Headford Arms Hotel, Headford, Co Galway, had been ‘at large’ since June 2022 when a bench warrant was issued from Ennis District Court for his arrest after he failed to show up in court concerning the alleged assault.

Mr Mureddu did not show up in court in June 2022 after a medical report was provided to court on behalf of Mr Mureddu which said that Mr Mureddu has “Covid symptoms - flu like”.


In court, Mr Mureddu - flanked by a prison officer on either side - told Judge Gabbett that he was in court under duress after being kidnapped.

He confirmed that he accepted the Book of Evidence in the case before court but stated “I am not Antonio Mureddu”. He then returned the Book of Evidence.

Judge Gabbett told him that he was facing “quite serious charges” and he could avail of legal aid.

Judge Gabbett said: “I know you have issues with the system,” and in reply Mr Mureddu said: “I don’t have issues with anybody.”


Judge Gabbett said: “You should be obtaining legal advice irrespective of your views on the State, irrespective of your views on the court system and on the charges.

He said: “If you don’t mount a defence to these proceedings, there is a risk you will be convicted and there are serious consequences including imprisonment and you need to be aware of that.”

Judge Gabbett said that he was sending Mr Mureddu forward for trial to the next sittings of Ennis Circuit Court.

A support of Mr Mureddu, Louise McGowan told Judge Gabbett that she is a ‘Trust Protector’ and asked Judge Gabbett to confirm that he had the authority of jurisdiction over a living man or woman.


Ms McGowan said: “You have no authority to detain him. You haven’t established who he is.”

Judge Gabbett told Ms McGowan that he does have the authority and told her that she was in danger of being held in contempt of court and to sit down.

Judge Gabbett said that Ms McGowan as she is not a solicitor she had no right of audience to appear before him in court on behalf of anyone.

Judge Gabbett gave Mr Mureddu the alibi warning and did not assign legal aid to the accused.

Mr Mureddu is also accused of dangerous driving on the M18 motorway at Caheraphuca, Crusheen and on the same motorway at Ballymacahill, Ennis on August 10th 2021.

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