Six honours claimed by “infantile” knife-wielding teen

A youth who claimed six honours in his Junior Cert in response to a judge’s suggestion that his schooling “was very limited” after he’d heard how the defendant had threatened to kill his father with a cheese knife, was ordered to produce this certificate in court next week.

“That’s very positive. Would you bring that [certificate] into me?” asked Judge Seamus Hughes of the defendant in the District Court this week (June 15 ) when he was told of his education.

James O’Reilly (19 ), with addresses in Beechpark West, and Alverno Drive, Willow Park, Athlone was in court to plead guilty to the offence committed at his father’s address in Beechpark West at 9.30pm on June 12.

Inspector Nicholas Farrell told how gardai were called to a disturbance at 9 Beechpark on the night in question, and when they arrived they found the defendant “in a garden with a cheese knife and a bread knife threatening to kill his father”.

“When the gardaí arrived, he turned his anger on them and had to be restrained with pepper spray,” said the inspector, who pointed out how O’Reilly’s father was not in court, and “wanted nothing more to do with him”.

The probation officer on duty told Judge Hughes the defendant was “known to the Probation Service for quite a long time”, while the defendant himself admitted his prior stay in jail was “alright” and that he wouldn’t mind going back.

“He seems very infantile and immature. I don’t think the elevator is going all the way to the top floor. I’d say his schooling was very limited,” said the judge.

However, O’Reilly countered this by telling the judge he had left school at 16 and got “six honours and two passes”.

Judge Hughes acknowledged this and asked to see the certificate.

“Would you like some hard work? A yellow jacket, a flask, and some sandwiches? I’d much prefer [to give him] that than send him to prison,” said the judge.

Inspector Farrell accepted the defendant was “vulnerable” but that he was “very concerned about the last incident” and was “worried what might happen”.

Judge Hughes acknowledged this and remanded O’Reilly in custody for a week.

He told the inspector he wanted to see O’Reilly’s father in court at the next sitting, and asked the defendant to tell Inspector Farrell where his Junior Cert was kept, in order that his father would be able to bring it along with him.


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