A man who has spent his last 18 birthdays in prison will have to spend at least one more there after he was sentenced this week (May 27 ) to 22 months in prison for threatening gardai with a jagged vodka bottle.
Patrick Greene (34 ), with an address at St Mel's Terrace, Athlone was in court to face a total of 15 charges, including the above, for which he had been in custody since April 8 after he turned up drunk and roaring obsenities at the bench.
These included a number of theft and public order offences as well as one of criminal damage to a car on March 11. Five of these were struck out and Greene pleaded not guilty to the assault with an offensive weapon charge.
Garda Maria Cox gave evidence that on March 25 she had been called to a disturbance on Retreat Road with a colleague.
“I observed the defendant and he was very intoxicated. He had a litre bottle of vodka with the top broken. It was jagged around the neck,” she described to the court.
“He threatened to attack with it, he was extremely abusive and aggressive,” she added.
The offensive weapon could not be produced in court however, as, in making the arrest the bottle got broken.
It took five gardai to arrest Greene, Garda Cox testified and this was corroborated by her colleague Garda Ryan.
“When we hopped out of the car he threatened all five of us,” said Garda Ryan. There were three plainclothes officers on the scene already.
Mr Paul Connellan, defending, contested the evidence of the gardai.
“He says he threatened nobody except the bottle itself,” he said.
However, Garda Ryan denied this.
“It took a good time to get the bottle away from him,” he said.
Judge John Neilan agreed and convicted Greene who, it was then revealed, had 64 previous convictions.
“The vast majority of these were of a similar nature,” said Mr Connellan, however Inspector Nicholas Farrell pointed out that five of these convictions were for using offensive weapons.
“He told me he has spent his last 18 birthdays in prison,” said Mr Connellan and he asked for some credit for Greene “tending a guilty plea to the majority of these charges”.
The judge sentenced Greene to two concurrent 11 month sentences for each of the two thefts of bottles of vodka from Dunnes Stores on March 2 and 21, and gave him a consecutive 11 months for the offensive weapon conviction. He refused to backdate the sentence for time already served, and set bail for an appeal at €600, with an independent surety of €1,200.