Laois man jailed for abusing judge, court staff and gardaí

Laois man needs to address his anger issues, says Judge Staines

Laois man jailed for abusing judge, court staff and gardaí

A Laois man has been given a jail sentence for shouting abuse at the Portlaoise Circuit Court judge and threatening both court staff and gardaí.

Before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Robert Dwane (22), with previous addresses in Portlaoise and Ballinakill.

Inspector Maria Conway gave evidence that on December 1 last year, during a sitting of Portlaoise Circuit Court, the accused became very aggressive toward the judge and had to be removed from the court.

He was very abusive, shouting and roaring at the judge, and was threatening both the court staff and the gardaí.

He was very persistent in his abuse toward a garda detective, and continued to be abusive toward the gardaí.

The accused had ten previous convictions, including hit and run, criminal damage, and bringing drugs into a place of detention.

He is currently serving a sentence previously imposed in the district court, for dangerous driving, with a release date of June 2.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said his client had appeared regularly before the court, and his life was chaotic.

“He is completely rebellious towards everybody,” said defence, adding that the accused's life is completely out of control.

Mr Fitzgerald said that since going into custody, his client has undertaken a detox programme.

Judge Catherine Staines asked had the accused undertaken anger management, to which Mr Fitzgerald replied that the accused’s “heroin addiction feeds the anger”.

Mr Fitzgerald said that the accused had now got away from the peer group he had associated with, and was using his time well in prison.

Judge Staines said the court had given the accused every opportunity to get help with his problems.

“There must be respect for the court, otherwise there could be anarchy,” she said.

Judge Staines went on to say the accused had serious anger management issues that he needs to address.

The judge imposed a three-month sentence, to run concurrent to the sentence Dwane is already serving.

There was a separate charge of trespassing against the accused, on February 23.

It was alleged that the accused and another male entered a house without permission and were asked to leave.

Mr Fitzgerald said his client was pleading not guilty and the matter was put in for hearing on June 6.