Judge appalled by schoolyard feud

Three men who admitted to throwing stones at a house in Valley Bungalows because of a schoolyard dispute, have been fined €1,000 each.

Thomas Nevin (23 ), Bay 2 St Michael’s Park; David Nevin (25 ), 31 Grange Crescent; and Hugh Nevin (23 ), 18 Grange Lawns pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Hugh Nevin’s sister’s home, 9 Valley Bungalows on August 21 2007.

Over €5,000 worth of damage was done to the front sitting room window and the front door. Two other defendants have already been dealt with by the court.

Christina Joyce told the court the dispute had been settled and that she would not like to see any of the men receive a custodial sentence as she would “feel horrible”. She said she had forgiven them.

“Family ties are more important to me than glass.” She said she had not been pressurised into appearing at court.

She said the dispute arose out of a petty squabble between children aged 10 or 11 and it escalated between the families. “The parents got annoyed.”

Judge Gibbons described the situation as “outrageous” and said it was very awkward for Ms Joyce to have to come to court.  

He said she had been placed in two difficult positions, firstly by having her house damaged and secondly by having to come to court.

He said he had never before seen the defence bring the injured party in a case as witness for the defence.

The judge said the three men had behaved “in the most appalling way” and added that principals have enough work to do to maintain discipline.

“It starts at home. If parents don’t maintain discipline it’s very difficult for teachers to maintain discipline. How can parents try to deal with it if adults are also behaving like this.”

He said the case related to public as well as private interest.

“It’s not in the public interest that adults take it upon themselves to unilaterally inflict vengeance on another person arising out of some matter in school.”

All three men have previous convictions.


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