Divided at home, united in court

A Mullingar couple got all their court business dealt with at Mullingar District Court when they asked Judge Hughes to deal with fine payments not due for several weeks.

The couple presented a united front in their requests, even though gardaí had been called to the woman’s house the night before following a row over a text from another woman.

Robert Conlon, who has an address at Ardilaun Green, Mullingar was before Mullingar District Court on Thursday because he refused to leave Brenda Lambden’s house at Raithin earlier that morning. She called gardaí to remove him.

Conlon admitted he was threatening and abusive there after she got annoyed because there was a text from another woman on his phone.

They were watching Coronation Street at around 1am, he said, when his phone beeped in the kitchen and he asked her to see who was contacting him at that hour of the night.

When it emerged that the text was from a former partner, a domestic dispute arose and she asked him to leave the house but he refused.

The text read “Hi hon, how’s you”, Conlon told the court, and when Lambden saw it “she went mad”.

He was abusive to the officers, and according to Inspector Jarlath Folan, refused “point blank” to go, ran into the house demanded her keys.

He was sober when he was taken into custody and spent the night at the Garda station before coming to court.

Judge Hughes told him he’d been through the system often enough to know he has to do what he’s told.

“I know I should have left,” admitted Conlon.

Judge Hughes adjourned the case until after lunch for Lambden to explain her side of the situation and she arrived with the couple’s infant son, described by the judge as “a lovely looking child.”

“I rang the Guards, we had a disagreement. I wanted him to leave,” she told the court.

“If he behaves, I shouldn’t have to ring the guards,” she said when asked how she felt about having him back.

Conlon said he would behave, and the judge told him to be loyal and faithful to the mother of his child.

The court heard Conlon was also facing trouble over an unpaid fine which could land him in prison, and Lambden also asked for the court’s leniency with a fine.

She asked for extra time to pay a €425 parking fine due in Athlone District Court in two weeks, and Judge Hughes agreed that Conlon will pay her fine and his own when he sells a car.

Conlon was also fined €200 for the previous night’s disturbance.

The judge accepted the fines situation was unorthodox, and Inspector Folan said it would take some time to sort out all the fines and adjournments.

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