People should be able to walk the public streets, a woman was told at Portlaoise District Court last Thursday.
Before the court was Carol Maritz, 34, of 29 Carmody Way, Fairgreen, Portlaoise. She was charged with intoxication and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at Market Square, Portlaoise on September 8 this year; using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at The Heath Portlaoise and assault of Garda Magee on September 27, 2020; and possession of a knife at the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise on April 1, 2020.
Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that Gardai were on mobile patrol at Market Square, Portlaoise on September 8 when they observed Ms Maritz in a physical altercation with a male. She was highly intoxicated. There was another man intervening and trying to defuse the situation.
During the course of a search under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on April 1, 2020 a knife was found on Ms Maritz. She said it was for her own personal protection. A picture of the knife was handed into court.
Judge Staines noted that on a previous occasion she had pleaded guilty to an assault on a Garda and the matter had been put back for a Restorative Justice report. She had not attended and made no contact with the Probation Services.
Appearing for Ms Maritz, solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick said she had spoken to someone in Probation and she understood she could complete work with the Tidy Towns.
Judge Staines noted that since then there had been further offences, and the public order matter was a concern.
On the knife issue, Ms Fitzpatrick said Ms Maritz had had a precarious living situation and had been living in an old abandoned house. She had been housed since last Christmas.
On the Market Square matter, she had had an argument with her partner and a third party about who would carry a backpack. She had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
She had been drinking at a friend’s party and was on her way back home.
She had been a victim herself of domestic violence. She was seeking one more chance to engage with the Tidy Towns. She had family here in Laois and in South Africa. Her circumstances were not good.
Judge Staines agreed the circumstances were not good. She had been given an opportunity.
On the public order charge she sentenced her to one month in Mountjoy, suspended for one year.
She told Ms Maritz that if she committed further offences she would be going to jail.
This was her last chance. People should be able to walk the street, added the Judge.
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