Portlaoise man with an ‘appalling record’ jailed

A PORTLAOISE man with “an appalling record” was remanded in custody by Judge Tony Hunt at the recent Circuit Court, with the judge ruling that the man has to serve some time in prison for his latest trespassing offence.

A PORTLAOISE man with “an appalling record” was remanded in custody by Judge Tony Hunt at the recent Circuit Court, with the judge ruling that the man has to serve some time in prison for his latest trespassing offence.

Kenneth Kelly, 12 Parnell Crescent, Portlaoise, was appealing a nine-month sentence he was given in the District Court, for trespassing at 14 The Village, Portlaoise, on October 17 last year. The sentence was made consecutive to a four-month sentence Kelly was already serving.

State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne gave evidence that the owner of number 14 returned home on that date to find the house “in chaos”. The doors were damaged and beds and furniture were taken, and a fire had been lit on the premises. A fingerprint at the scene identified Kelly and he was arrested. Kelly admitted to gardaí that he was in the building.

Sgt James Phelan told the court that Kelly had gone to the house to meet other people in connection with drug debts. Sgt Phelan said that Kelly had taken no part in the damage, all of which was caused before he arrived at the house.

The court heard Kelly has 60 previous convictions, which Judge Hunt described as “appalling”.

Defence, Mr Simon McDonald said his client was now drug free for the first time since he was 14. Mr McDonald said his client had suffered from a heroin addiction, which accounted for his committing a number of robberies.

Remarking that Kelly should have to serve something in respect to the trespass charge, Judge Hunt put the matter back to October 16 for a probation report and for Kelly to provide urine analysis. The judge said if the report is positive, he might consider suspending the balance of Kelly’s sentence on that date.