Probation Act too lenient for first time offender - court hears

Judge John Lindsay decided his usual practice of giving the benefit of the Probation Act to a first time offender was too lenient for a Multyfarnham man who appeared before him at the recent sitting of Mullingar District Court.

Instead he fined Phidias Murtagh of Fearbanagh, who pleaded guilty to his part in two incidents, one in Athlone and one in Mullingar.

The 20-year-old was spitting and roaring at Genesis night club in Athlone at 2.40am on St Patrick’s day when gardaí were called.

He was, Inspector Jarlath Folan said, “extremely abusive to all”.

At the same time on June 7 on Oliver Plunkett Street, Mullingar he was observed in a row, highly intoxicated.

He was again very abusive to everyone in the vicinity and had to be arrested and charged.

He has no previous convictions, a factor which Judge John Lindsay said would normally result in him giving the benefit of the Probation Act.

However he fined Murtagh €200 for one count of threatening behaviour and took another charge for the same offence and one of public intoxication into consideration.

Ms Patricia Cronin said her client had drunk to excess on both nights and has not been drinking since.

The arrest in Mullingar was “a huge wake-up call” for the man who has completed half of his apprenticeship as a mechanic but was let go as a result of the downturn.

In Mullingar he had gone to the assistance of his brother who was involved in an incident and he now realizes that this was the wrong thing to do.

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