Ballina man sentenced to six months in jail

At Ballina District Court on Tuesday a man was sentenced to six months in jail for theft, driving while disqualified, and for resisting a garda.

The first offence occurred on November 25 2011 at 5pm when Thomas Conroy, 102 Barnaderg, Ballina, stole two cordless drill from Lidl, Ballina. An altercation occurred outside the shop with the store manager. The drills, worth €50 each, were recovered. Conroy was “off his head on drink” that day as he had consumed 20 bottles of Budweiser.

On December 21 2011 at 2.18pm, Garda Rebecca Ferguson observed the defendant driving on Teeling Street. Two children in the car were not restrained. A nine-year-old sat in the front seat and a two-year-old was in the back of the car. A fixed charge notice was issued but was not paid.

The following day Garda Martin McNicholas observed the defendant park in a disabled space. A fixed charge notice was issued but was not paid.

The defendant was disqualified from driving at the time.

On July 18 2012 at 8.20pm, Garda Jude Gallagher responded to an anonymous call to go to the defendant’s home as he was causing a disturbance outside. Conroy was intoxicated and was drinking from a bottle of Budweiser. His partner was observed cleaning up broken glass. There were children in the vicinity. Conroy was abusive and threatening to gardaí and he was informed that he would be pepper sprayed if he continued to be threatening and abusive. Gardaí attempted to handcuff him, however Conroy fought back and was pepper sprayed.

The defendant has 22 previous convictions, 11 are for road traffic offences.

Conroy’s partner Jennifer Maloney, who has been with him for three years and has one child with him, told the court that she rang the gardaí that evening, however Ms Maloney said that the gardaí did not handle the situation very well. Judge Mary Devins said to Ms Maloney that she had “a cheek to start talking in derogatory terms about the gardaí who you called out to deal with your partner”. The judge asked her if she knew how many convictions “your lovely boyfriend has...please do not attempt to criticise the gardaí”.

Ms Maloney said that Conroy has had a drink problem for five or six years and suffers from depression.

For the theft on November 11, Judge Devins convicted and fined Conroy €100. For being threatening and abusive outside the store he was convicted and fined €100 and sentenced to three months in prison.

For driving while disqualified on December 21, he was convicted and fined €500, disqualified from driving for four years, and sentenced to three months in prison concurrent. For allowing the children to be unrestrained in the car he was convicted and fined a total of €200 and disqualified from driving for one year concurrent.

For driving while disqualified on December 22, he was convicted and fined €500, disqualified from driving for six years concurrent, and sentenced to three months in prison consecutive. For parking in a disabled place he was convicted and fined €100 and disqualified from driving for one year concurrent.

For the obstruction of a garda on July 18 he was convicted and fined €200 and sentenced to three months in prison concurrent.

Recognisances were fixed.

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