Portlaoise man smashed window with a brick in family dispute

Portlaoise man smashed window with a brick in family dispute

A Portlaoise man who threw a brick through a window in a dispute between families has been given a suspended jail sentence having been found unsuitable for community service.

Before Portlaoise District Court last week was Bernard McDonagh (42), Lynden Court, Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise, charged with criminal damage, at O’Moore Place, Portlaoise, on November 29, 2017.

The accused appeared at last Thursday’s court having been arrested on a bench warrant, after failing to turn up in court the previous week.

Judge Catherine Staines noted that the matter had been listed for hearing when the accused failed to turn up, and the accused was convicted in his absence. The matter was then adjourned for sentencing.

Defence for the accused said that McDonagh was pleading guilty to breaking the window. There had been a dispute between families and the accused regretted getting involved.

He failed to turn up the previous week as he got his dates mixed up, said defence.

Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that the accused had 35 previous convictions, including criminal damage and road traffic matters.

Defence pointed out that his last previous conviction had been three years ago.

Defence said that the accused was apologising to the court and the victim of the offence and was willing to pay compensation. Defence said the accused had €100 to offer the court.

Judge Staines directed that the money go to the injured party and told the accused to write a letter of apology.

The judge also directed the accused to complete community service. However, the accused was assessed for community service by probation officer, Ms Ann Walsh, who said the accused was not suitable for community service due to mental issues.

Judge Staines said it was a very serious matter throwing a brick through a window, and imposed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for one year.