Man set fire to sister’s kitchen and spat blood at social worker, court hears

A youth who set fire to his sister’s kitchen so the council would give her a new one, and who spat a mouthful of blood into a social worker’s face, got another final chance in court this week (April 2 ).

“If you put your nose out of joint just once over the next few weeks all bets are off, and you’re off to jail for nine months,” Judge Seamus Hughes told Jordan Buckley (20 ), originally from Ferbane, but now living with an aunt in Daingean, Co Offaly.

Buckley appeared in court from custody after being convicted of possession of diazepam and ecstasy; trespass; criminal damage; theft, and public order offences in Tullamore District Court on April 1 whilst under a suspended sentence issued in Athlone on May 9, 2012.

In February 2010 Buckley punched a teenage girl he was drinking with in the face, while in December that year, at a HSE care facility in Mullingar, he spat a mouthful of blood in the face of a social worker after being punched in the face by a third party.

On that date he was also convicted of €9,000 of arson in the kitchen of his sister’s home in Gallen View, Ferbane on March 16, 2010.

This he did, the court heard, in the belief his sister would get a brand new kitchen from the county council - which she did.

At this May 2012 appearance Judge Hughes told him: “The Probation Service seem to have more faith in you than I do” and that: “I will not be giving you a second chance” when he handed down the suspended sentence.

In court this week Buckley’s solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn pleaded against the application of the nine-month sentence for the Tullamore offences which he argued were “not serious individually, but together indicate a serious pattern”.

He told how all of Buckley’s Tullamore offences had been committed whilst he was intoxicated, and that now, after a series of HSE care facilities was “homeless, with no dole”.

“How do you manage? Is this [prison system] a revolving door?” asked the judge.

Mr Quinn explained how Buckley was told recently he could qualify for a place at a rehab centre, but would need to be within the system to achieve this.

“He wouldn’t have the sophistication or skills to achieve this himself,” noted the judge, before ordering another Probation Report.

“I want to turn your life around. I would like to release him to test his mettle,” said the judge after turning to Inspector Aidan Minnock.

“The number of offences before me is appalling, but we’ll take a chance, inspector,” said the judge, before remanding Buckley on continuing bail until May 7.

“Step out of line and you’re off,” warned the judge.


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