A young man who smeared his own faeces on the wall of his cell after he was arrested on a night out in Carrick-on-Shannon was sentenced to prison by Judge Kevin P Kilrane when he a before Carrick-on-Shannon District Court recently.
Jamie Fitzgerald, 18 Greenfield Heights, Killucan, Co Westmeath pleaded guilty to criminal damage, being intoxicated in a public place, threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour, and refusing to give his name and address when asked by gardai.
Sgt Michael Gallagher told the court that gardai were called to McHugh's Bar in Carrick-on-Shannon on New Year's Eve after staff reported trouble with a customer.
When gardai arrived on the scene in the early hours of January 1, 2020 they found a very intoxicated Mr Fitzgerald. He refused to provide his name and address and security staff said they were having a particularly difficult time dealing with the defendant.
He called a female garda at the scene a “f***ing slut” and “a whore” and gardai were forced to arrest him and place him in a cell at Carrick-on-Shannon garda station.
However, once inside the cell Mr Fitzgerald smeared his own faeces over the wall and a blanket.
Defending solicitor, Martin Burke, said his client was had moved to Dublin as a very young man.
He had travelled to Carrick-on-Shannon on the date in question where his girlfriend's sister had an apartment and had gone into town.
Mr Burke acknowledged his client had become extremely intoxicated observing “he doesn't drink at all now. This is an event stemming out of alcohol intake. Not giving his name and address and being unable to stand on his own two feet and slurring his words. This was all as a result of the alcohol.”
Mr Burke said that Mr Fitzgerald had brought €300 to court to deal with the compensation of cleaning his cell adding that his client had “cleaned out his bank account to do so”.
He asked that the court be as lenient as possible adding his client “asked me to make an apology to gardai today on his behalf”.
Despite the appeal for leniency, Judge Kevin P Kilrane said the defendant “must go to prison. His behaviour was shocking and there was no apology until today.”
He also noted that Mr Fitzgerald had previous convictions.
“His behaviour on the night from the word go at McHugh's and later in the garda station is shocking, disgusting behaviour,” said Judge Kilrane.
Mr Fitzgerald pleaded with Judge Kilrane for another chance.
“This was a defining moment in my character,” he said, adding he was ashamed of the “person I let myself become.
“I am so sorry for my actions, for letting myself down and for everyone else affected,” he added, offering an apology to the gardai in particular.
Mr Burke suggested that any sentence imposed be suspended to “leave it hanging over (the defendant)”.
Judge Kilrane disagreed, sentencing Mr Fitzgerald to three months on the matter of criminal damage and two months each on the summonses for threatening abusive and insulting behaviour and failing to give his name and address when asked by gardai. All sentences were to be served concurrently.
The remaining summons for being intoxicated in a public place was marked as proven and taken into consideration.
Recognisance was set in the event of an appeal.
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