Portlaoise man who urinated on garda station floor claimed drink was spiked

court reporter

Reporter:

court reporter

Portlaoise Garda Station.

A Portlaoise man claimed his drink was spiked after being arrested for being drunk at an open air festival in the town and then urinating on the floor at the garda station.

John Lawlor (28), Clonroosk View, Portlaoise, was charged with being intoxicated in public, and criminal damage.

Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that on June 24 this year, during the Old Fort Festival in Portlaoise, the accused was very intoxicated and unsteady on his feet. He was refused entry to the festival and was then directed to leave the scene by gardaí, but he refused to do so and was arrested.

At the garda station, he urinated in the custody suite, causing clean up costs of €350.

The accused had 29 previous convictions, including six for public order.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick acknowledged that her client was at serious risk of going to prison.

He was out socially on the night and had been very conscious of the stern warning given him by Judge Catherine Staines on his last appearance before the court, said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Defence went on to say that at the festival he was drinking Budweiser, but he believed his drink was spiked as he did not remember anything about the incident until he woke up in the garda station.

He was very embarrassed, said Ms Fitzpatrick, handing in a letter from his employer and two letters of apology written by the accused, one for the gardaí and one for the court.

Defence also said the accused had €150 in court as a start towards the compensation for the damage at the garda station.

Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused had now stopped drinking and had learnt his lesson. He would be able to pay the balance of compensation if given one month.

Judge Staines said the accused was very close to going to prison, as he had already been given an opportunity by the court back in March for similar offences.

However, the judge noted that he had pleaded guilty, written letters of apology, paid some compensation, and claimed to have stopped drinking.

Judge Staines ordered the accused to pay a further €200, saying that if the money was paid she would apply the probation act.

The judge directed that the €150 already handed in go to the Garda Benevolent Fund and the matter was put back to December 7.