Waterford woman appears in court for allegedly burning down council house
A man who branded his father a “scumbag” after tearing his house up with a sledgehammer in Killashee last month, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Judge Seamus Hughes imposed the sentence on Lee Meares (21), of Derryadd, Killashee at last week’s District Court sitting, suspending the final six months for a three year period following an incident at his father’s home on December 20 2018.
The court was told gardaí had been called to Gary Cosgrove’s home address at Derryadd, Killashee at around 6pm.
Garda John Egan said it was his understanding there had been an argument involving father and son which had resulted in Mr Meares taking out his frustrations on the house with a sledgehammer.
He said the 21-year-old had broken windows and “tore up furniture” causing Mr Cosgrove to call gardaí for assistance.
Among the items damaged included seven windows, three doors, chairs, a table and floor tiles valued at €2,500.
It was also revealed gardaí had found around €30 worth of cannabis herb at the property, resulting in Mr Meares being charged under Section 3 and 27 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.
That charge was later struck out after defence solicitor Fiona Baxter maintained the drugs were not in his possession.
Garda Egan said such was Mr Meares’ level of distress four relatives had to hold him down until gardaí arrived on the scene.
Defending, Fiona Baxter said her client had been residing with his father at the time of the incident, adding that the cause of the row was of a personal nature.
“Mr Meares found messages from his girlfriend to his father and erupted in a fit of rage,” she said.
Before calling Mr Cosgrove to give evidence, Judge Hughes asked Garda Egan if he had investigated the claims being made by Mr Meares.
“I spoke to his father and he denied it,” said Garda Egan.
Mr Cosgrove confirmed his son had been staying with him but that the messages sent to him by Mr Meares’ girlfriend were over his conduct towards her.
“There’s no controlling him,” said Mr Cosgrove, as he also denied any suggestions his relationship with Mr Meares’ girlfriend was nothing more than platonic.
“Never”, was his reply to Judge Hughes when asked is he had any sexual relations with the woman.
Ms Baxter, continuing her mitigation, said Mr Meares had been staying clear of trouble and concentrating on his occupational duties before the events of December 20 unfolded.
“Prior to the incident, Mr Meares has been doing quite well with Pulse Logistics,” she said, informing his weekly work schedule routinely topped 50 hours per week.
A letter from Mr Meares’ mother was also handed into the court, the contents of which were not disclosed however.
“She does acknowledge he needs help,” she added, referring specifically to Mr Meare’s anger management problems.
Judge Seamus Hughes sentenced Mr Meares to 12 months in prison, suspending six months of that term for three years.
Judge Hughes added that part of the sentence would not be activated provided Mr Meares, upon his release, attend probation services and follow any directions for a 12 month period.
Ms Baxter asked if the sentence could be backdated to December 21, a request Judge Hughes flatly rejected.
He also fixed recognisances in the event of Mr Meare’s lodging an appeal to the sentence.
As he made his way to the public benches towards the rear of the courtroom, Mr Meare’s launched a barrage of obscenities at his father.
“Kiss my hole, you scumbag,” Mr Meares shouted across at Mr Cosgrove.
Mr Cosgrove made no reply and did not respond as he exited to the courtroom.