Man sentenced to two months in prison after jumping into canal to save his pet rat in Galway

A man who jumped into a canal to rescue his pet rat in Galway has been sentenced to two months in prison.

According to the Connacht Tribune ,Gardai were called to the scene at Upper Canal Road on September 6 last year when a number of concerned passers-by discovered Dawid Szerner, 39, standing next to the canalsoaking wet and intoxicated - writes

Szerner, from Poland but now living in Cork, appeared before Galway District Court earlier this week where he deniedthat he was intoxicated or that he breached the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour towards Gardai.

He also denied two additional charges of refusing to leave the area when directed to do so by a Gardaí and of resisting arrest.

As per the report, Gardai are said to havearrived at the scene to find Szerner out of the water, claiming he was intoxicated and abusive and aggressive towards Garda Anne-Marie Conroy when she quizzed him.

Gardai eventually had to restrainSzerner, with a concerned passerby callingthe Garda Station to request reinforcements be sent out.

Two more Gardai soon arrived andthe four Gardaí managed to arrestSzerner.

As reported by theTribune, Szerner's defence solicitor, John Martin, claimed that his client "had a rat in his pocket which jumped out of his pocket into the water and he jumped in to retrieve it".

Szerner, who had previously worked as a chef in a city centre hostelry, reportedly told the court that he had just picked up his two pet rats from a friend who was minding them for him while he attended a party the night before.

He said he then jumped into the canal after one of the rats escaped from his pocket and entered the water and began to swim away.

Szerner also said that he did not recall being abusive towards the Gardai, but became annoyed at them when he told him about his pet swimming away and they would not listen.

Szerner also claimed that the second rat, which was in his other pocket, was “smashed” while Gardai were restraining him, killing theanimal.

Judge Fahy sentenced Szernerto two months in prison for refusing to leave the scene when instructed to by Garda Conroy, while she also imposed a consecutive one-month sentence for breaching the peace.

Both sentences were suspended for twelve months on condition of good behaviour and that he stays away from Galway City for the period of the suspension.

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