Longford District Court:
A man who appeared before Judge John King at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court was convicted of two public order offenses.
Michael Milenko, 4 Ardrum Court, Longford, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place on two separate occasions while he was on bail for an alleged robbery charge. Sgt Mark Mahon, on behalf of the prosecution, requested that Judge King remand Mr Milenko in custody for not complying with bail conditions that were previously handed down by Judge Hughes.
One such condition was that he sign on daily. However, of 31 sign-ons in October, Mr Milenko missed 16 of them Sgt Mahon explained.
Defence solicitor Frank Gearty, however, implored the judge not to send Mr Milenko to prison.
“On the last court date, he showed up fairly shook. He suffers from alcoholism and a serious health problem. He has a serious breathing problem and it’s aggravated by alcohol. He was in a wreck of a condition on his last court date,” Mr Gearty explained.
“He’s a very respectable man. He has some issues related to alcohol. It could have been a very drink-orientated robbery - a messy robbery, rather than a calculated one.”
Mr Gearty explained that the accused was pleading guilty to the charges before him but was hoping to avoid a prison sentence.
“He has an awful health problem and sleeps in the sitting room, propped up in a chair,” he said.
“He’d have great facilities in prison,” Judge King replied.
“I can’t admit him to prison for welfare reasons, but I can if he doesn’t comply with his bail conditions.”
Mr Gearty explained that the accused was of Slovakian origin and was a very respectable man when he lived in Slovakia.
“He was never in court in Slovakia and he didn’t offend until there was a family tragedy. He was well behaved when he came over, then something happened,” said Mr Gearty.
“He has seen the inside of a prison and got a big fright. He also has €140 with him in court. I’m not suggesting he should get a prize but at least it shows some readiness to make amends.”
Sgt Mahon expressed concern about letting Mr Milenko out on bail and suggested he be remanded in custody to Harristown court.
“The reality is he had been granted bail and he didn’t comply with the conditions,” said Judge King, agreeing to remand the accused in custody to Harristown court on January 20, 2020.
Judge King then asked to hear the facts regarding the two public order offences.
Reading the evidence, Sgt Mahon said that on November 1, 2019 at 4.30pm, gardaí were requested to attend an incident at Bank of Ireland, where there were reports of an intoxicated male on the premises.
“Gardaí found him passing out on a bench in the bank and arrested him for his own safety,” he explained.
Again, on November 13, 2019, at 2.30pm, Gardaí arrested Mr Milenko at Main Street, Longford, where he was highly intoxicated and arrested for his own safety.
The accused had 11 previous convictions, Sgt Mahon revealed, the majority of which were for Public Order, and the most recent of which was a fine of €200 on June 24.
“His intoxication is aggravated by his poor health. Illness makes him look ten times worse when he’s drunk,” said Mr Gearty in his client’s defence.
“He was asleep on a seat. If he was on your seat you’d be concerned,” Judge King replied.
After hearing the facts, Judge King fined Mr Milenko €140 for the incident at Bank of Ireland on November 1, which the accused paid immediately in court.
Judge King handed down a further fine of €200 for the incident on November 13.
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