Court not the place for children, warns judge

A MAN charged with drink driving was criticised last week by Judge Catherine Staines for bringing his young daughter to the district court in Portlaoise, with the judge declaring that a courtroom is not the right place for a child.

A MAN charged with drink driving was criticised last week by Judge Catherine Staines for bringing his young daughter to the district court in Portlaoise, with the judge declaring that a courtroom is not the right place for a child.

Nedzelskis Nedas, of 1 Newpark House, Newpark, Portlaoise, was detected with 85mg of alcohol on his breath, at James Fintan Lawlor Avenue, Portlaoise, on January 18.

Inspector Dermot Drea gave evidence that gardaí observed Nedas driving in an erratic manner on the night. Nedas has one previous conviction for drink driving.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had been a foolish decision to drive.

“Under no circumstances will he be taking the chance again,” she said.

During the case, Judge Staines noticed that Nedas’ young daughter was present in court. She chided Nedas for bringing the girl, saying: “This is not an appropriate place for a child. I’m not impressed by that.”

Ms Fitzpatrick apologised on behalf of her client, and informed the judge that Nedas’ partner lives in Lithuania and there was no one else available to mind the girl.

As this was Nedas’ second convictions for drink driving, Judge Staines imposed 100 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in prison.