A Mountmellick man convicted of being drunkenly aggressive to the gardaí has been given community service in lieu of prison and directed to make a donation to the gardaí.
Eric Dalton (33), 31 Emmet Terrace, Mountmellick, was charged at last week’s court with being intoxicated, threatening or abusive behaviour, and failure to comply with the gardaí.
Inspector Eamonn Curley gave evidence that on December 24 last, the gardaí responded to a call to attend outside a local nightclub. They observed the accused talking to a lone female, who was trying to calm him down.
The gardaí approached the accused, who was intoxicated. He then turned his aggression on the gardaí.
He continued to remain at the scene being abusive to the gardaí, and was highly intoxicated and unsteady on his feet, said Insp Curley.
The inspector said the accused put his hands behind his back and insisted on being arrested.
The accused had five previous convictions.
Judge Catherine Staines said the accused seemed to have a problem with drink.
The accused replied: “I do have a problem with drink, I should cut it out.”
Telling the accused his behaviour had been appalling, Judge Staines said he could go to prison for six months.
However, she instead imposed community officer and told the accused to talk to the probation officer to see if he was suitable to do the work.
When the case was recalled later that day the accused was found suitable for community service, and the judge imposed 150 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in jail.
She also told the accused to donate €300 to the Garda Benevolent Fund.
“If you come before the court again you will go to prison. I suggest you go and deal with your drink problem,” Judge Staines told him.