Threatened own parents

A MOUNTMELLICK man borrowed €6,000 from his elderly parents to clear a drug debt and the very next day returned to their home threatening them to give him more money.

A MOUNTMELLICK man borrowed €6,000 from his elderly parents to clear a drug debt and the very next day returned to their home threatening them to give him more money.

The district court heard that Patrick Byrne, who has 34 previous convictions, went to his parents’ house at Cloncannon, Mountmellick, on June 10, in breach of a barring order in place against him until September, 2015. Inspector Tom Finnerty gave evidence that Byrne threatened his own parents and threatened to damage their house unless they gave him money, even though they had given him €6,000 just the day before. The inspector said that the couple, who are in their 70s, were put in fear by Byrne’s actions.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that his client was a long-standing heroin addict who had acquired a drug debt and his mother had helped him out with the money. When he went to pay the debt he was told there were further debts, so he went back home seeking more money.

Mr Meagher admitted that Byrne had acted in an appalling fashion toward his parents, but he’s “slowly attempting to rebuild bridges” and is paying the money back to his mother. He said that Byrne’s mother had attended court that day and she was happy to accept her son’s apology.

Mr Meagher explained that his client had done well engaging with Victory Outreach for his drug addiction, but unfortunately he had lapsed in recent months and has now applied for a place at Coote Street addiction services in Portlaoise.

Judge Catherine Staines said that Byrne had been given a suspended sentence back in November last year, which he subsequently breached. She said he had made threats to two elderly people and this was exacerbated by the fact that they were his own parents. The judge remarked that she acknowledged he was a heroin addict, but if he was going to bully old people he deserved prison.

Activating the suspended sentence against Byrne, the judge imposed sentences of three months and four months. Recognizance was fixed in the event of an appeal.