Jail for man who tried to headbutt Laois traffic warden

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Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

A man who tried to headbutt a traffic warden after repeatedly parking his car in an area of Portlaoise without a proper permit has been given a four-month jail sentence.

At this week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Lukasz Krol (31), 50 Rushall, Mountrath, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, and assault, at Jessop Court, Portlaoise.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on October 23, 2018, at Jessop Court, Portlaoise, the traffic warden was on duty checking cars when the accused shouted at him and walked towards him in an aggressive manner.

The accused attempted to headbutt the traffic warden, but the hat the warden was wearing prevented an injury.

The accused then grabbed the warden’s hat and threw it down, before he attempted to take the warden’s portable printer and camera.

Sgt Kirby said the injured party was very upset and put out by the incident.

The injured party, Mr Derek Lewis gave evidence to the court, saying that after this if he was ever going into Jessop Court he would have to make sure the accused was not around. He also said the accused had been calling him names after the incident.

The accused had a number of previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused’s behaviour had been completely unacceptable and he had written a letter of apology.

The accused also addressed the injured party in court, saying he was sorry for what had happened and there was no excuse for what he had done.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused, a Polish national, had been a resident in Jessop Street at the time and had experienced an issue with transporting a parking permit to a new vehicle.

To this, Judge Catherine Staines said there had been a hundred occasions where the accused had continued to park his car there and had no permission to do so.

Mr Fitzgerald replied that the accused had the start of compensation with him, €200, and could endeavour to get a lot more.

Judge Staines said that the role of the traffic warden is very important, as it keeps traffic flowing.

“It’s a very unpopular role, no doubt, yet they have to continue on with their duties and deserve respect,” said Judge Staines, adding that the accused had “absolutely no respect for the law and absolutely no respect for the traffic warden”.

The judge imposed four months in jail, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal. The judge also directed that €1,000 compensation go from the court poor box to the injured party.