A man who assaulted a stranger who allowed him to share his taxi home, had an 11 month jail sentence adjourned until November in the District Court this week (June 24 ).
The court heard how Alan Browning (31 ) of Cushla Lawns, Athlone had got out of the taxi at his house at around 3.40am on October 26 without paying.
When the original passenger got out to remonstrate, Browning headbutted him and kicked him.
He was arrested after the taximan called Gardai.
“The defendant says his behaviour was inexcusable,' said his solicitor, Mr Paul Connellan.
“He has very little recollection of the incident as he was on valium and sleeping medication and shouldn't have been drinking,” said Mr Connellan.
“He has a long heroin addiction and is not out the far side of it yet.”
A letter confirming this was handed in to the court.
Mr Connellan also explained that his client, though assessed for Cuan Mhuire rehab centre, is clinically unable to attend as he is also a diabetic.
He asked the court for “one last chance” for Browning but the judge was unimpressed.
“The first mention of this case was on November 18 last year and until now you have done nothing concerning your addiction,' said Judge John Neilan.
“You don't seem to have any respect for your own body. It doesn't appear to me you're gravely worried about the status of your diabetes,” he said, before sentencing Browning to five months in jail for the assault and a concurrent 11 months for failing to appear in court on May 27.
He did however, adjourn imposing the sentence until November 11, saying: “I'll leave it up to you between now and then. There is no magic potion”.
The judge then addressed the subject of compensation for the victim and told Browning he had a figure in mind.
“You have ample funds to buy heroin but you haven't brought one cent to court today,” he warned.
He also fined Browning €250 for refusing to pay the taxi fare.