01 Oct 2022

Longford Judge: ‘You're not in Lithuania now’

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes

A man who assaulted another man causing him harm was told he was “not in Lithuania now” after he showed up in court last week without the required compensation monies which had been previously ordered.

Ridas Labinas (31) 3 Eden Court, Athlone Road, Longford was given the stern warning by Judge Seamus Hughes at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court after he failed to show up with the remaining €250 balance from a €500 order which was made at a sitting on January 22 2019.

Mr Labinas, it emerged, had already paid over €250 and turned up to court last Tuesday with a further €150 which he handed to his solicitor Frank Gearty.

However, Judge Hughes’ demeanour took a turn for the worse when Mr Labinas appeared alongside a translator.
“It’s the taxpayers who are paying for this girl (translator),” he snapped.

“He’s (defendant) not paying for it.”

Also read: Longford man banned from driving for 20 years jailed for four months

In the heat of that exchange, Judge Hughes asked how much the translator was costing the state for her attendance on the day, a question which led District Court Clerk Margaret Curley to state: “A couple of hundred.”

On foot of that explanation, Judge Hughes continued to direct his ire at Mr Labinas and his apparent lack of contrition.

“You were supposed to have all the money today. You haven’t and I detect no remorse whatsoever.”

Judge Hughes added he was growing increasingly “tired” of instances like those of Mr Labinas across District Number 9 where defendants were failing to stick to conditions set down by the court.

And in warning Mr Labinas he was facing being sent to prison, Judge Hughes said: “He had better come up with the money today.

“He’s not in Lithuania now, let me tell you.”

After the case was put back to afford Mr Labinas some additional time to source the remaining money, Mr Gearty said his client was simply unable to meet that demand as he had only recently lost his job.

“I am not applying for legal aid,” added Mr Gearty, as he described Mr Labinas’ case as being “all over the place”.

Judge Hughes nonetheless granted legal aid to Mr Labinas and adjourned affairs until May 28, adding: “We won’t need an interpreter the next day.”

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