Laois man given chance to overcome difficulties

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Laois man given chance to overcome difficulties

A Mountrath man charged with stealing a car and writing it off by crashing into a ditch, whose case was adjourned for him to attend aftercare for his drug addiction, has had a relapse in his treatment.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was David Bergin (21), The Bungalow, Mountrath, charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant, dangerous driving, and no licence or insurance, at Colt, Portlaoise; and theft of a phone, and the unauthorised taking of an MPV, at Marian Place, Portlaoise, all on October 3 last year.

He was further charged with theft, from Dealz, Laois Shopping Centre; and criminal damage, at Kavanagh Cycles, Portlaoise, both on September 23, 2018; drug possession, on May 31, 2018; and assault causing harm, and theft, at Manhattan Mixer, Portlaoise, on March 9 this year.

Concerning the unauthorised taking of an MPV, when the case first came before the court in February, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on October 3 last, while under the influence of drugs and drink, the accused stole a phone from a parked car and then stole the vehicle as well.

The accused then crashed the car into a ditch at Colt, writing the vehicle off.

He sustained a head injury and was taken to hospital, where he returned a blood alcohol reading of 108mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that the accused had been “at the apex of an acute addiction to heroin and crack cocaine.”

The case was adjourned a number of times since February, for the accused to engage with treatment for his addiction.

When the case returned to court last week, Mr Fitzgerald said that matters had taken a downwards spiral for the accused the previous week, to such an extent that his parents were disgusted with him.

“His father says it’s like a bereavement in the family the relapse that has occurred,” said defence, going on to say that it was uncertain whether the treatment centre would facilitate the accused now because of the relapse.

Mr Fitzgerald asked the court to give him a couple of weeks to see if he could overcome his difficulties.

Judge Staines told the accused he was very lucky to have parents who cared about him.

She said she would give him a chance to get back into treatment and adjourned the case to December 5, but warned him that after that she would have to protect the public.

“If you commit further offences then prison is where you’re going,” said Judge Staines.