A man who tresspassed in the garden of a house putting the occupants in fear for their safety rang the doorbell several times because he thought he was being pursued, the Galway District Court heard this week.
A six month sentence suspended for 18 months on strict conditions was imposed on Martin Conroy (33 ) of 54 Woodfield, Galway Road, Tuam, for the charge of tresspassing on the curtilage of a building at Ashe Road, Shantalla, on March 28, 2010, in a manner likely to cause fear, contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order ) Act.
The District Court heard on Monday how Conroy had pleaded guilty to the charge at the first opportunity, but that there had been concerns raised regarding the defendant’s previous convictions. At a court sitting last month it was revealed that Conroy has 25 previous convictions, including one for robbery and possession of a immitation firearm in May 1997 for which he received a 10 year prison sentence.
Garda Karen Battye also told the court that Conroy was seen at the back of the house in the early hours and the occupants had locked themselves in their bedroom for fear that the man had gained entry to the house.
She also gave evidence that Conroy had been in the garden waving a stick and that he was heard saying people were chasing him. Garda Battye added that no other person was seen in the area and that gardai found Conroy wearing torn clothing and he had scrapes and cuts to his body. He also seemed to be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs at the time.
In court this week, defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that it was his client who had phoned the gardai. Mr MacLynn added that Conroy, a married unemployed plasterer with two children, had rung the doorbell of the house a number of times because he felt that he was being pursued.
Judge Mary Fahy reiterated her concerns about Conroy, especially in light of his “serious record”, however she gave the defendant a chance by imposing a six month sentence suspended for a period of 18 months on condition that he enter into a bond of €1,000 to be of good behaviour.
After realising that the defendant lives in Tuam, Judge Fahy said that she was “puzzled” as to why he would be in the garden of a house in Shantalla. Conroy explained that he had just left the nearby UHG after attending for a check-up. As part of the conditions of the suspended sentence, Judge Fahy ordered Conroy to stay away from the injured party’s address and the vicinity of Shantalla.
“He has no business there. If he re-offends he is looking at the sentence being re-activated,” she warned.