Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

Young Portlaoise man ends up in custody after he smashed garda car outside Portlaoise courthouse

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Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

A man was charged with breaking a garda car window outside Portlaoise District Court shortly after being granted bail on a separate matter last Thursday.

Robert Dwane(22) with an address at 207 St Brigids Place, Portlaoise, appeared before the court earlier in the day charged with breaching a safety order on three occasions and failing to comply with bail conditions. The safety order breaches were allegedly committed in Portlaoise Shopping Centre on January 6 and 26 this year and in Lyster Square on December 12, 2016.

Under his bail terms, the defendant had been required to stay out of Portlaoise, reside at an address near Abbeyleix and not make contact with the alleged injured party.

Solicitor Philip Meagher explained that his client had changed address following a disagreement with a relative and had returned to Portlaoise as no alternative accommodation was available. He said the alleged breaches of the safety order had all occurred in public places and he requested CCTV for a hearing. Mr Meagher said his client was prepared to give undertakings not to approach the alleged injured party.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly expressed “serious concerns” about granting bail to the accused. He said it would be alleged the defendant had stopped and put the injured party in fear on one occasion.

Judge Catherine Staines asked the defendant if he understood what bail conditions are. “I had no choice, I had nowhere to go,” he responded.

“I asked for video evidence and it is not being shown, where is my side of it,” he asked.

He was granted bail under a number of strict conditions and Judge Staines warned him that, “if there is any further breaches I am telling you now you will go into custody.” She remanded him on bail to reappear at Portlaoise District Court on Tuesday.

However, after lunch the defendant was brought before the court on new charges. The two charges, failing to comply with the direction of gardai and criminal damage, related to an incident outside the courthouse earlier in the day, the judge was told.

Sgt Justine O’Reilly gave evidence of arresting the accused on Main Street in Portlaoise and conveying him to Portlaoise Garda Station where he made no reply when charged.

Objecting to bail, Sgt O’Reilly said the accused had been “mouthing off” in relation to gardai and the alleged injured party in the other case outside the court earlier in the day.

She recalled him saying: “I’ll f**king show her” and said he replied “f**k off” and “I don’t give a f**k,” when asked to leave the area. When arrested and put into the back of a patrol car and “he kicked out the window of the garda car,” she added.

Judge Catherine Staines refused bail and remanded the accused in custody to Cloverhill Prison.

“In my view you have no respect for the court,” she said. The defendant is due to appear again before Portlaoise District Court on Tuesday.