Judge concerned about defendants’ weight

Judge Seamus Hughes has taken the unprecedented step of commenting on the physical appearance of defendants, who he said could do with getting some exercise and losing weight.

He first told Edward Daly of Water Tower Apartments, Retreat Road, Athlone that he should “lose a bit of weight and get fit” by completing the final 124 hours of a community service order imposed in January last year.

Daly was before the court last week because the Probation Service re-entered his case as he had failed to complete the hours, even though he has received three formal warning letters.

The court heard Daly has trouble with his knees, which present trouble when he walks or is active, but the judge described him as young, strong, and physically fit.

He said he had never heard the likes of it and that Daly wouldn’t get away with it, indicating he’d jail him for six weeks if he doesn’t want to complete the hours.

He suggested that someone lying in watch in the long grass might catch Daly involved in plenty of activity that would show he had no problems with his knee.

The case was adjourned for a month for Daly to show progress with his community service.

Judge Hughes also suggested that a woman in her forties needs to get out and about.

He told the woman, who has been diagnosed with psychiatric illness, that “a good healthy walking regime” would help her lose a bit of weight and she would come back from her stint under the care of the Probation Service feeling healthy.

“Walking will be part of your therapeutic campaign,” he told the woman who was in court following a public order incident that happened when she was distressed in the middle of the Ballymahon Road on April 3.

She was aggressive with gardaí and threatened to stab one with a needle, but Inspector Dermot Drea said she had been a danger to herself and gardaí tried to calm her.

They recognised she had never been in trouble before, and that she may have had issues.

Judge Hughes said he wants to see her stable and not in prison, where she spent two weeks in custody but did not get the psychiatric report requested by the court.


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