€500 fine for “bully” boyfriend - court hears

A man who got into a late night row with his girlfriend was fined €500 in court this week (November 18 ) and warned he would go to jail if he tried it again.

“He seems to bully, browbeat, humiliate and intimidate females,” said Judge John Neilan to Mr Paul Connellan, solicitor for Stephen Johnson (25 ) from Warrensgrove, Ard Ri, Athlone.

“If that’s the way you’re going to behave, you’ll be in the Midlands Prison.”

The court had earlier heard how patrolling gardai had to intervene after observing Johnson arguing with a female on Church Street, Athlone at around 2am on August 16.

Mr Connellan confirmed the woman was Johnson’s girlfriend and that she had accompanied him to court. He told the court that the situation had been resolved.

He told the court Johnson had a good employment record, was totally co-operative and “claims to have given up the drink since August”.

Judge Neilan was unimpressed.

“She’s not a piece of property, she’s not your chattel,” said the judge.

“Try it again and you’ll find yourself in jail. When gardai tried to intervene, all they got was a hail of abuse.

“Whether it was your girlfriend or gardai, they deserve respect.”

Later in court, Debbie Merrigan (26 ) of Woodlands Grove, Clonbrusk, Athlone was also convicted for her part in the same row after she drunkenly abused the arresting gardai.

“When gardai go to the asistance of a female and are abused by another female, it just shows her regard for society,” said the judge.

Merrigan, a friend of Johnson’s girlfriend, was sentenced to two months in jail but had it adjourned until June 2.

In an unrelated incident she was also fined €50 and disqualified from driving for a year after being convicted of allowing her twin daughters jump around in the rear of her car in Arcadia on April 10.

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