No third chance for defendant

A 19-year-old Mullingar man broke down in tears when Judge Seamus Hughes jailed him for public order offences during a recent sitting of Mullingar District Court.

After hearing how Robert Conlon, with addresses at Westfield House and The Brosna, had been abusive to staff at A&E, the judge said he had no option but to activate a previous suspended sentence for assaulting a garda.

“You got your chance before - that’s it,” said the judge, who told Conlon that he had seen tears from him before, but that he didn’t see them on August 24.

That was the day gardaí were called to Mullingar hospital where Conlon had drunkenly threatened to kill nurses and other staff.

When they arrived gardaí found him outside, lying on the ground. When they approached him, he became aggressive and told the officers he knew the registration numbers of their cars. He said he would slash their tyres and called a female garda a b***h.

He also made threats to the mothers of other gardaí and said he would stick them with a heroin needle he had.

The court heard he served only two months of a six month sentence the judge imposed earlier this year, but this was the longest stint he had spent in jail.

The judge said he was at a loss to understand how, if Conlon had learned his lesson, he committed the new offences after his release.

Solicitor Louis Kiernan admitted the incident was appalling but said his young client, who had a difficult upbringing, remembered nothing of the night. He has been in care since he was a small child and was moved “from Billy to Jack” as his alcoholic mother was unable to care of him and his siblings.

Conlon told the court he believed his drink had been spiked, but the judge said he was unimpressed.

It was a serious situation to be “a blackguard so intoxicated he can’t remember what he said”, where staff are overstretched and overstressed, he said.

Anyone who committed similar offences could expect the full rigour of the law, he said, emphasising that he wanted to send out that message clearly.

For that offence he imposed a two month sentence which he suspended for three years.


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