07 Dec 2021

Former heroin addict allowed house to be overcome with litter

Carrick-on Shannon man facing jail term if he re-offends

Carrick-on-Shannon District Court

A former Kinlough resident who was described in court as a “heroin addict” at the time, allowed his home to be overcome with litter, Ballyshannon District Court heard.

After looking at pictures of the amount of rubbish at the former home of Owen Ward, at 3 Dartry View, Kinlough, Judge Kevin Kilrane said it was “shocking and unbelievable.”

The judge said he was also concerned that a fire had been lit in Ward’s back garden about five yards from an oil tank.

The court was told it was “appalling management of the house with an extreme degree of rubbish around everywhere.”

Judge Kilrane said it was equally shocking that the defendant had tried to dispose of the huge amount of rubbish in his back garden by lighting a fire. The judge said it could only be imagined what the house was like inside.

Ward, who told the court he was now living at 69 Main Street, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, pleaded guilty to charges that on January 4, 2018 held waste in such a way as to cause environmental pollution at 3 Dartry View, Kinlough.
He also pleaded guilty to an identical charge on July 20 2018 at the same address.

Leitrim County Council solicitor Frank Gearty told the court the defendant had left the area and the case was dragging with costs for the public purse.

Mr Gearty told the court that the costs for the council were €1500 and additional other expenses came to €2,466.

Defence solicitor Tom MacSharry said the facts were accepted and the defendant and his partner had been before the court previously.

The couple found themselves in this position because they were in the grip of a “very serious heroin addiction and lost nearly everything their own admission.”

They were now clean and sober and almost had their children back

The defendant deeply regretted what happened and is very ashamed.

His financial situation was very poor, and he would be willing to do community service if that option was given to him.

The defendant was a person who had kept a clean home before this matter.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said that everything and anything was in the back yard and it was a “shocking sight.”

The judge said a mitigating factor was the defendant was apparently addicted to heroin at the time and lost all sense of accountability and decency for proper living.

The court heard the house had been rented from a private landlord who was in the US and who had an agent in Kinlough.

Owen Ward told the court he was “totally ashamed of it.”

On the question of costs Judge Kilrane adjourned the case until February 5 for the payment of €700.

“If you pay that I will conclude this case.”

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