Judge warns defendant to do community service no matter what

Judge Hughes has warned a man that if he doesn’t comply with his community service order he will go to prison, whether his ailing mother is dead or alive.

“If you’re mother is alive or dead I want [the case] re-entered and you’ll go to prison,” he told Hugh Myers (46 ), Ardleigh Crescent, Mullingar who has failed to complete community service hours because his mother is unwell.

The court heard Myers, who is before the court on new public order charges, had failed to complete 240 hours community service firstly because he had been in prison and then because his mother is unwell.

Probation officer Tom Ryder told the court that his staff have made a number of attempts to get him to re-start community service.

The community service order was made in June of last year when Myers admitted stealing six cans of Harp worth €8 from a Mullingar supermarket.

He was caught by Garda Neil Donnellan just moments after leaving the supermarket, and he ran and dumped the alcohol.

But when he was caught, there was a struggle and the garda had to use his pepper spray to subdue Myers.

Myers’ solicitor Patricia Cronin said he has no difficulty doing community service, and asked if the new cases could be adjourned to see how he progresses.

She said Myers hasn’t been drinking, but Judge Hughes didn’t believe him, and questioned whether he should order a survey of gardaí in Mullingar to see who might have seen Myers out and about.

He wouldn’t accept Myers’ mother’s illness as an excuse for his failure to complete his hours.

“Many mothers are deceased for years, are getting old or infirm and people don’t hold their hands seven days a week and Hugh Myers doesn’t because he’s down the street with the other latchikos,” warned the judge.

“I never tolerate people using family difficulties,” he said. “I hear it constantly. It’s a lame excuse, certainly from the school I come from.”

He adjourned the case to July 24, warning Myers that if he doesn’t comply with the probation service he’ll go to jail.

He described Myers as a mature gentleman, who needs to be out in the sunshine with a few beads of sweat on his forehead.

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