Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Portlaoise man who threatened he would break a garda’s jaw and to break every bone in another’s body, was given a six-month prison sentence, with the last three months suspended, at last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court.

The man was charged with numerous public order matters, as well as trespass and possession of an offensive weapon between 15 and 25 August this year.

Garda Sergeant JJ Kirby gave evidence that between 6am and 7.45am on 25 August last, the defendant and two others entered a derelict property at Rossvale Court. He was subsequently arrested.

Further evidence was given by Sgt. Kirby that at 3am on 25 August, a banging noise was heard at a vacant property in Rossvale Court, which woke up a number of residents. The defendant was in the property and he told the neighbours to “f**k off” when confronted. He also said: “I’m sleeping there, you faggots.” When the gardaí arrived, the accused also called them “faggots” and told a garda that he would “break every bone in his body”.

On 15 August, there was a party in a house at Carmody Way and the defendant, who was drunk and abusive, had to be removed. He threatened the gardaí when they arrived, saying that he would break one garda’s jaw. Sgt. Kirby said that the defendant had to be handcuffed for the gardaí’s safety.

Also on 15 August at Market Street, Mountmellick, the accused walked on the road towards oncoming traffic in a “clearly intoxicated” state. When approached by gardaí, he called them “pigs” and told them to “f**k off”, so he had to be arrested. Sgt. Kirby said that the defendant then became more abusive and gardaí located on his person the slide roller rail from a filing cabinet.

The defendant had 26 previous convictions.

Solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had “a wealth of previous convictions”. “He accepts that his behaviour, especially towards the gardaí, is outrageous,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

She went on to say that the defendant was known to the court due to his previous “lack of maturity” and history of drug misuse and had been in custody since 2 September, which had given him time to reflect on his behaviour.

Judge Catherine Staines told the defendant that he was going to have to deal with his alcohol problem, otherwise he would spend all of his 20s in prison.

These are very serious matters. I gave him numerous opportunities before, but I have to impose a sentence today,” said Judge Staines.

She imposed two three-month sentences, to run consecutively, and suspended the second sentence for 12 months on condition the defendant engages with the probation services.

Recognisances was fixed in the event of an appeal.

*Names of defendants in Portlaoise District Court cases are not printed on social media sites but in the Laois Nationalist newspaper that is available in your local shop or in our online edition here

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