12 Aug 2022

Restorative justice works for man with knuckleduster

Restorative justice works for man with knuckleduster

A 36-year-old man who claimed he had a knuckleduster for protection walking through “a dangerous area” of Portlaoise has been given the benefit of the probation act having fully engaged with a restorative justice programme.

Miloslaw Bielawiec (36) 2 Wellview Terrace, New Road, Portlaoise, was charged with possession of an article to cause injury, at Tower Hill, Portlaoise, on June 25 last.

The case was previously adjourned for the accused to engage with the restorative justice programme, and when the case returned to Portlaoise District Court last week, defence for the accused said there was a very positive restorative justice report.

Judge Catherine Staines said that in a statement to gardaí Mr Bielawiec had outlined how, when he was 17, his father had been murdered. On the date in question the accused had been walking through a dangerous area and he thought it would be a good idea to have the knuckle-duster. Since then, however, he had realised it was morally wrong to have such an item and had apologised.

The judge went on to say that Mr Bielawiec had completed the restorative justice programme very successfully, carrying out 30 hours' work with the Portlaoise Tidy Towns group, who had described him as a good worker.

“This is a great example of how the restorative justice programme works,” said Judge Staines.

Saying it was extremely unlikely that he would be before the court again, Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1.1.

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