Suspended sentence for shocking damage to cars

A young Knocknacarra man who, along with accomplices, smashed up cars causing more than €3,000 in damage received a seven month suspended sentence this week after paying compensation in full.

Mark Gavigan (21 ) with an address at 79 Monalee Manor, Knocknacarra, appeared at Galway District Court this week for the final payment of compensation.

At a previous court sitting two months ago Gavigan along with co-defendants Kian Heany (21 ) of 1c Leitir Burca, Ballymoneen Road, and Michael Rice (21 ) of 168 Upper Salthill, Salthill, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal damage at Gort na Coiribe, Headford Road, on October 2, 2009.

Taking into account that Heany fully co-operated with gardai and had no previous convictions Judge Mary Fahy ordered him to pay €1,000 in compensation as well as a fine of €1,000. With four previous convictions Rice was ordered to come up with a total of €1,500 in compensation which was paid immediately and he then received a six month suspended sentence and a €300 fine.

Gavigan had five previous convictions, one for an offensive weapons incident at the Eye Cinema on January 20, 2008, where a canister of pepper spray was discharged into air vents resulting in the premises being evacuated. The court has also heard that he had been the least co-operative of the three. Gavigan paid €1,000 for compensation but the case was adjourned for a further payment of €500.

The court had also heard how gardai arrived at the scene to find that three cars had been severely damaged by the young men. The driver’s door of one of the cars had been kicked off, the steering rack of a second had been pulled out, while a fire extinguisher, taken from a nearby apartment block, had been thrown through the window of a third vehicle. Damage of more than €3,000 was caused to the cars which had all belonged to students.

Commenting at the previous court sitting Judge Fahy said that she was “appalled” and “shocked” by the actions of the three men.

In court last Monday Gavigan’s solicitor Olivia Traynor said that her client has now paid the full €1,500 in compensation. Judge Fahy then confirmed the order and imposed a seven month sentence suspended for two years on condition that Gavigan enter into a bond of €500 to be of good behaviour.



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