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28/10/2021

Man committed a number of offences in Laois town during a ‘chaotic state’ in July

Man committed a number of offences in Laois town during ‘chaotic state’ in July

A Portlaoise man committed a number of offences during a “chaotic state’’ last July, Portlaoise District Court heard on Thursday last.

PJ O’Shea, 29, of 20 O’Moore Place, Portlaoise faced a number of matters before the court. 

He was charged with begging and obstruction of a passage at Lyster Lane, Portlaoise on July 3 this year; intoxication and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at Bridge Street on July 22; intoxication and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and assault of student Garda Michael McDermott on Main Street, Portlaoise on July 19; using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and failing to follow a Garda direction at Main Street, Portlaoise on July 3. 

He was also charged with possession of a knife and gloves at Lakeglen, Portlaoise on August 1. 

He was also charged with handling a stolen bank card at Applegreen on the Dublin Road on July 28; and handling a stolen Revolut bank card at Downey’s on the Dublin Road on August 1. 

Sgt JJ Kirby outlined to the court that on July 22 this year at 3.10am Gardai responded to a call at Bridge Street, Portlaoise where a man was sleeping on the sidewalk. When they roused him, his speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He became abusive to Gardai. 

Sgt Kirby told the court that in the handling stolen property matter, a wallet and cards were taken from a vehicle. They were subsequently used in a fraudulent transaction. The items belonged to a man from Portlaoise. 

On the possession of a multi-tool - a knife - the court heard that on August 1, 2021 at 11.30pm Gardai stopped and detained Mr O’Shea. He made no admissions. Later in an interview he admitted he needed treatment for drugs.

At Main Street, Portlaoise on July 19 at 4.55pm he became abusive to Gardai calling them “f*****g pigs’’ and telling them to ‘’go f*** themselves.’’ He also assaulted Garda Michael McDermott. 

On July 3 at Lyster Lane there were reports of a man begging and harassing and being obstructive. Gardai attende and directed Mr O’Shea to leave. Five minutes later he was still there. He became aggressive. 

Appearing for Mr O’Shea, solicitor Philip Meagher said he was a 29-year old man with no dependents and no work. He was on remand in Cloverhill Prison. 

Mr Meagher said he went through stages where he was clean and did not come to Garda attention. 

He has an underlying medical condition and anxiety issues. When his condition deteriorated his mother asked him to leave the house. He was homeless for July this year and living on the street. 

He was in a chaotic state at the end of July. He had often attended Mr Meagher’s office in an agitated and ill state. He was heavily addicted to Xanax bars. 

Matters have now improved. He had completely detoxed in prison and was now in a calmer state. 

This has been the cycle over the years, Mr Meagher told the court. 

His mother is happy he is getting the treatment.  He wants to get help when he gets out of prison. He was seeking the assistance of the Probation Services and sustained help. 

Judge Catherine Staines sentenced him to ten months in prison, back dated to August 2 this year, with the last four suspended, so he could be under the supervision of the Probation Services for one year. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal. 

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