Six months jail time for headbutting judge’s car

Causing damage to a car belonging to a District Court judge has landed a 29-year-old Athlone man with a six-month prison sentence.

Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court that Stephen O’Reilly of Sli an Afrinn, Athlone, was being led out of court by Sergeant Cormac Moylan, after being remanded in custody, when he lunged at a car outside.

The court was told he headbutted the passenger window and caused damage to the door to the cost of €1,644.

The car belonged to Judge John Lindsay who had been presiding on that occasion in Athlone. O’Reilly had appeared on a Section Three assault case committed in the Athlone area.

The incident occurred on November 5, 2011 at 12.30pm and Inspector Nicholas Farrell said the judge was delayed and would have been late in attending other appointments scheduled for that afternoon.

In his defence O’Reilly said he had tripped on his way out but admitted he had been reckless while being led away by gardaí. When asked by Judge Seamus Hughes if there was any chance Judge Lindsay would be compensated for the damages, O’Reilly replied: “If I get out on bail, I will get the money for you”.

Defence solicitor Tony McLynn told the court O’Reilly had had a difficult upbringing and had been in trouble with the law from the age of eight. He said his client had told him that when he tripped he went head first into the car, but admitted he didn’t know who owned it.

O’Reilly later instructed his solicitors to apologise for him over what had occurred. He also told Judge Hughes he felt the gardaí had it in for him.

Inspector Farrell also reminded Judge Hughes of an incident that occurred in July 2011, which led to O’Reilly appearing at a court sitting in Mullingar District Court, after he had threatened to kill someone.

Judge Hughes sentenced the defendant, who is already in custody, to six months in prison.


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