Student knocks over garda after being helped down from a roof by fire brigade, court hears

A 21-year-old fitness student whose drunken stunt of climbing on the roof of a city centre shopping centre resulted in the fire brigade being called out was warned compensation will not be accepted until all legal costs were paid.

Judge Mary Fahy gave the warning after discovering how Alan Madden of Ballycrissane, Ballinasloe, had previously been awarded legal aid despite his parents owning a bus company. The legal aid was revoked with Judge Fahy noting that taxpayers had already paid significantly for the cost of the fire brigade being called out and should not be expected to pay for Madden’s legal costs as well.

Madden was summoned to appear at Galway District Court on Monday charged with being intoxicated in a public place, threatening and abusive behaviour, and obstructing Garda Orla Flatley at Bothar Irwin, Galway, on October 15, 2012.

Inspector Derek Gannon told the court that the defendant had climbed up on to the roof of the Corrib Shopping Centre and had not been able to get back down. The fire brigade were then called to help him and he left the scene. However, Madden returned soon after and the gardai were called. Madden became abusive to gardai before “running at a guard”. Inspector Gannon further explained that Madden had “shouldered” Garda Flatley, knocking her to the ground.

Defence solicitor John Martyn explained that Madden, a single final year student in exercise and health studies, had been intoxicated at the time. In relation to banging into Garda Flatley, Mr Martyn said Madden “just tried to run” and “it was not malicious”. He also explained that his client had returned to the scene because he had left something at the access point to the roof of the shopping centre. Mr Martyn added that there had been no injuries and that Madden, who has no previous convictions, had brought €600 to court with him to offer as compensation. Following questions by Judge Fahy it also came to light that Madden’s parents own a bus.

In response to this Judge Fahy said: “I’m not happy about this situation, that this man was assigned legal aid. I’m expected to let the tax payers pay for this? They paid for the fire brigade to go out when he was on a roof. I want his parents to pay the legal costs. They should be ashamed that they would allow their son to take legal aid for this.”

Judge Fahy then withdrew the legal aid and adjourned the case to December 16 next to allow time for the legal costs to be paid, adding that when this was done she might accept the offer of €600 compensation.

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