27 May 2022

Longford man tells court of how prison is a 'handy place'

“I am getting stopped more times by the Gardaí in Longford than there are people in Longford," says aggrieved defendant

Judge Seamus Hughes

A man has told Judge Seamus Hughes of how prison is "a handy place".

A north Longford man who previously spent two weeks behind bars for the non payment of a fine has described prison as a “handy place” and vowed to return there should any further monetary penalties be levelled against him.

William Maughan, with an address at 9 Dolmen Court, Aughnacliffe, Longford, came before a recent District Court sitting accused of failing to wear a seatbelt whilst driving.

The incident is alleged to have occurred on March 19 2018 at Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford.
Mr Maughan, who represented himself before Judge Hughes, said the alleged incident was just the latest in a long line of occasions where he had come in for increased garda attention.

“I am getting stopped more times by the Gardaí in Longford than there are people in Longford,” he said.

“It's 24/7 there the guards are stopping me.”

Judge Hughes didn't take long to react to Mr Maughan's accusations and said the Gardaí's actions were not made up on whim.

“The only reason the Guards are stopping you is they are looking out for your own safety,” said the Judge.

However, Mr Maughan responded for a second time in an attempt to explain why he was found without a seatbelt while at the wheel.

“I can't wear a seatbelt because I have arthritis in my shoulder,” he said.

“I am p***** off with the law in Longford.”

It was at that juncture that Mr Maughan revealed he had previously spent two weeks in prison for the non payment of a fine.

Keen to hear what Mr Maughan's take on life behind bars was like, Judge Hughes asked the Longford man to lay bare his period in incarceration to the court.

“It was a handy place, there was a bed and I will probably go back in (prison) again.”

In keeping with that mindset, Mr Maughan indicated that should any more financial penalties come his way, he would most likely opt for a further stint in prison.

“Oh yes,” he told Judge Hughes.

“I won't give the Government anything.”

The case was due to resume before Judge Hughes at yesterday's (October 23) sitting of Longford District Court.

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