Man fined for putting students in fear

A man who was agressive towards a number of students, putting them in fear, was fined €250 at Galway District Court this week.

Charlie O’Riordan (27 ) with an address at 18 Grange Road, Ballina, Tipperary, appeared in court on Monday and pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour at University Road on June 18, 2009.

The court heard that a group of students had been on their way home, walking down University Road, at around 3am when they were approached by the defendant, and an accomplice. The students were asked about the location of a party but then they became extremely fearful that they were going to be robbed. The defendant was described as being particularly agressive towards these students and Inspector Mick Coppinger added that “luckily a patrol car was passing and picked them up”.

At a previous court sitting held at the end of March this year, the co-accused, Anthony Kenny (31 ) of Laurel Park, Newcastle, was fined €350 for his part in the incident. Garda Emma Kerin had given evidence at the time that the three male students had been very upset and panic stricken after Kenny had hurled abuse and threats, telling them to leave their wallets on the floor or “their heads would be broken”. As O’Riordan had failed to appear in court for the sitting a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

In court on Monday, Inspector Coppinger said that O’Riordan has eight previous convictions including a five-months suspended sentence for burglary in 2009, and a conviction in 2007 for possession of drugs.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that on the date in question his client had been “langered drunk” and subsequently has no recollection of events. He added that O’Riordan, who is on disablitity allowance, apologises for his behaviour and has been off alcohol for a year. Mr MacLynn then asked Judge Elizabeth MacGrath to consider giving his client a chance.

Judge MacGrath took into account O’Riordan’s plea of guilty and convicted and fined him €250 with six months to pay.

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