09 Dec 2021

Judge tells north Longford goat owner: 'You're a bit of a buck yourself'

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes became embroiled in a light hearted exchange with a goat owner from north Longford during a recent sitting of Longford District Court.

A goat owner who stole €30 worth of hay from a nearby farmyard has been told he is a “bit of a buck” himself by Judge Seamus Hughes.

Anthony Small, of 2 Colmcille Terrace, Granard pleaded guilty to the theft of the hay, together with a padlock and key valued at €35 from a premises at Ballinagall, Granard on November 9 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to entering a building with intent to commit and offence and of entering the curtilage of a hayshed also under Section 11 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 three days earlier.

Judge Hughes recalled how the case had come before him on a previous occasion where he became embroiled in somewhat of a jovial exchange with the accused.

Addressing Mr Small directly, Judge Hughes remarked: “I said what do you call a male goat?”
Pausing to reveal the answer to the question as being a buck, Judge Hughes added: “I said to you then that you are a bit of a buck yourself.”

The court was told Mr Small had been found by the injured party on his property on November 6 and again at around midday just three days later.

Judge Hughes said Mr Small could count himself to be a “very lucky man” that the property owner didn’t have a shotgun in his possession when found entering the property.

“I wasn’t thinking,” replied Mr Small.

“He (injured party) said: ‘If you asked me, I would have given you it (hay)’.”

In taking the case in its entirety, Judge Hughes said Mr Small was someone who “would take the eye out of your head” and was an “awful person to be living beside”.

Defence solicitor Frank Gearty contended however that his client was in fact “well got” and had come to every court sitting in the past.

In stepping forward from the public gallery, Mr Small’s mother gave further credence to that belief and claimed her son “does everything” at home.

Mr Small said he was hoping to sell his seven goats after putting them up on online classified website, Done Deal.

In adjourning the case, Judge Hughes said he would overlook imposing a custodial sentence on the proviso Mr Small returned to the court before Christmas with the proceeds from the sale of the goats.

“The money is to go to the neighbour you stole hay from and (for the) damaged lock,” he said.

The case is due back before Longford District Court on December 11 2018.

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