‘You're a handful to say the least’: Longford judge sentences man to seven months in prison

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Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes

A man has been sentenced to seven months in prison following an appearance before Judge Seamus Hughes at Longford District Court.

Dubravko Ostojic of 135a Meadowbrook, Athlone, Westmeath was facing a number of charges, including trespassing, public order and theft.

On behalf of the state, Sgt Paddy McGirl explained that the accused was arrested on September 1, 2019, when he was discovered trespassing in a caravan at 96 Thornbury Drive, Athlone and searching through the overhead compartments of the home.

In response to this charge, defence solicitor Frank Gearty explained that Mr Ostojic had a box of lightbulbs in his hand, when gardaí arrived, and nothing more.

“He’s pleading guilty to all other charges,” Mr Gearty added.

Sgt McGirl continued to read the charges to Judge Hughes, saying that on September 12, 2018 at 3.25pm, Mr Ostojic was outside of 15 Meadowbrook, Athlone, intoxicated in a public place and “roaring and shouting”.

“He was abusive to gardaí, calling them ‘dirty rotten pigs’ and saying that he’d ‘split them with a headbutt’,” Sgt McGirl explained.

The following week, on September 20, the accused was charged with the theft of a €19 bottle of whiskey from Aldi in Athlone.
The week after that, on September 27, Sgt McGirl added, Mr Ostojic was observed at the Market Square, Longford, at 11.10pm, “being a nuisance to people”.

“Gardaí told him to leave, but he was observed again in the same location later with a bottle of whiskey. He started calling the garda a fool and was arrested,” he said.

Finally, on October 2, 2019, at Pearse Street, he was charged with being intoxicated in public and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour.

“He attempted to headbutt Gda Sharkey and the garda needed assistance,” said Sgt McGirl.

“He picked the wrong garda to headbutt,” Judge Hughes remarked.

Sgt McGirl revealed that Mr Ostojic had 79 previous convictions, the most recent of which was October 24, 2019, when he received a six week sentence for public order.

“The common denominator is alcohol. He’s perfectly mannerly here today and when he doesn’t have drink on him,” said Mr Gearty, explaining that his client had “a difficult childhood” as his father was killed in a war in Yugoslavia and he and his mother came to Ireland as refugees.

“He’s been highly abusive to his mother many times and yet he’s the only person she can depend on,” noted Judge Hughes before asking Mr Ostojic his age.

When the defendant replied that he’s 27 years old, Judge Hughes said it was time he “copped on and matured”.

“You’re a handful to say the least,” he added.

Judge Hughes proceeded to sentence Mr Ostojic to four months in prison for trespassing in the caravan. He added a two month consecutive sentence for the abusive behaviour at Meadowbrook on September 12, but struck out the charge of being intoxicated in public.

Judge Hughes added on a one month consecutive sentence for the theft of whiskey at Aldi, one month concurrant for loitering at the Market Square on September 27, and took the accused’s threatening and abusive behaviour on the same date into consideration.

Finally, Judge Hughes struck out the charge of being intoxicated in public on October 2, but handed down a two-month concurrant sentence for abusive and threatening behaviour on the same date.

“I make that seven months in total,” Judge Hughes concluded.