Drunk man who headbutted patrol car window gets five months suspended

A Meath man who travelled to Galway to get treatment for his alcohol problems only to walk off the bus, go on the drink and end up arrested before headbutting the rear window of a patrol car and causing €425 worth of damage.

Phillip Ellis (34 ) with an address at 7 The Grove, Milltree Park, Ratoath, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in a public place and criminal damage of the rear window of a patrol car at Flannery’s Hotel, Dublin Road, on March 3, 2012, and for failing to appear in court on March 7, 2012. A charge for threatening and abusive behaviour was withdrawn by the State.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that gardai received a call to go to Flannery’s Hotel as a result of a customer, the defendant, causing a disturbance there. They found that Ellis, who was very intoxicated was causing such a nuisance that he had to be removed from the premises and arrested. When he was placed in the patrol car he then headbutted the rear window, causing €420 worth of damage. The inspector added that Ellis has 15 previous convictions which included a community service order for being intoxicated in a public place imposed in September 2011, a fine for possession of drugs, as well as driving without a driving licence and insurance, imposed in January, 2010, and a number of other road traffic offences going back to 2006 where there was a conviction for drink driving for which he received a four year disqualification.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that Ellis, who is married with four children, had actually come to Galway that day to enter into treatment at Cuain Mhuire, however, he got off the bus and proceeded to drink. She added that after this incident Ellis, who had been a bricklayer by trade, went straight into treatment for three weeks to deal with his alcohol problems. The court then heard that compensation has already been paid for the damage to the patrol car.

Judge Mary Fahy then convicted Ellis and imposed a five month sentence for the criminal damage and was suspended for two years on condition that he enter into a bond of €500 to be of good behaviour and to stay away from Galway city and county. The charge for being intoxicated in a public place was taken into consideration while a one month suspended sentence, to run concurrently, was imposed for failing to appear in court.

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