Burglar tells judge she should be shot during violent court outburst

A Rahoon man who, during a sudden and unexpected outburst in court told a district court judge that she should be shot when it was revealed he lied about engaging with the probation services, will now serve an extra four months in jail.

Joseph Crawford (25 ) with an address at 47 Corrach Bui, Rahoon, was brought before Judge Mary Fahy at Galway District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to trespassing with intent to commit burglary at Kostello’s, Knocknacarra, on March 22, 2010.

The court heard that Crawford, who is already serving 14 months for unrelated road traffic offences, had entered the hair salon at around 2am and stole €200 from the till area which was not recovered. Inspector Brendan Carroll then told Judge Fahy that Crawford has 46 previous convictions which include assault, assault causing harm, burglary, and two counts of robbery.

Defence solicitor Tomas McHale said that his client intends to make efforts to recover the money and that he had been extremely co-operative with gardai. Mr McHale said that his instructions were that Crawford had attended probation services appointments and that a report was due which would be helpful to the court. He added that it was necesassry for the defendant to get some assistance as “he has been in and out of court but has received no support”.

“He has a history for not coming into court,” replied Judge Fahy. Mr McHale explained that Crawford failed to turn up for his last court date because he had been a victim of an assault and had been hospitalised. He further explained that Crawford’s partner had recently given birth to their first child which he has never seen and that this has been a “wake-up call” for him.

“This is ridiculous, he has made a career of this, it may not be a very good one,” said Judge Fahy who added that she had her suspicions and called for a short adjournment so that contact could be made with the probation services regarding the report.

This resulted in an sudden and aggressive outburst from the defendant. As he was led away by prison officers he roared at Judge Fahy: “You should be fucking shot”.

When the case resumed the court heard that enquiries had been made and that the cheif probation officer concerned only knew the defendant “in passing” and that no reports were being prepared. “That’s the reason he started shouting. It was because he knew the game was up. That’s the reason for his ire, angst, and total over-reaction,” said Judge Fahy, noting that it was obvious the defendant had given false instructions to his solicitor.

Crawford later apologised to Judge Fahy for his outburst, stating that he had “not been in his right mind” at the time and that he was angry.

“Your anger was directed towards the court, the reason for it was you didn’t have any real engagement with the probation services,” replied Judge Fahy.

Taking into account the defendant’s plea, that he had entered a locked premises but that no violence had been used, Judge Fahy imposed a four-month sentence to be served on lawful termination of the sentence already being served. Leave to appeal was granted.

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