A Drogheda man has been given a five month prison sentence, suspended for three years, and an exclusion order from Longford, following considerable criminal damage committed in a Longford town housing estate.
Stephen McGuire, 29 Breadan Street, Drogheda, Co Louth appeared before Longford District Court last Tuesday morning after gardaí re-entered charges from a special court sitting which took place the previous evening.
“He has indicated that he’ll plead guilty to the new charges,” said solicitor, Bríd Mimnagh.
“In regard to the new charges from yesterday evening, he said he’ll plead guilty but if you could leave it until December 1, he’s going to stay in his parents’ house in Drogheda and make money to fix the doors he damaged.”
Sgt Paddy McGirl, prosecuting, explained that the accused had caused “considerable damage” to a number of properties when he went through a number of back gardens.
“On October 6, 2020, at 4.35am, gardaí received a call to Lana Aoibheann - the address of his ex partner. Gardaí encountered (the accused) in the estate in an extremely intoxicated state,” said Sgt McGirl.
“He said he wanted to talk to the lady who didn’t want to talk to him. When asked by the gardaí to leave, he became abusive to gardaí and was arrested.”
The accused has 75 previous convictions including a number of public order, possession of knives, failing to appear, theft, criminal damage and assault, Sgt McGirl added.
Mr McGuire’s ex partner, Evelyn Donohoe was called to the stand to give evidence and explained that she and the accused were third cousins and had started dating.
“We started talking on Facebook, which is how we got to know each other. Then we were dating and he came down for a few days, but we were arguing and I said we should go our separate ways but he’s been calling me on private numbers,” she said.
“I’ve three children and I don’t want him around my house. Between 3am and 3.30am, I went to the bathroom and I looked out my little girl’s bedroom window and he was sitting in my shed,” she added.
“I got afraid and rang the guards. The neighbours came and said they saw him trying to get in the back door. I told him the last day to get away from my door. I assumed he was gone.
“A couple of moments later, the neighbour’s dog went mad. When I looked out again, there he was in my neighbour’s garden trying to get over the fence into my garden. When that happened, he went to the front and hid in my other neighbour’s shed. I can’t understand why he’s still coming round.”
“What’s your opinion of this man?” Judge Hughes asked Ms Donohoe.
“At first we got on well, but we weren’t getting on and I told him I didn’t want to be with him no more. I think he needs help - a psychologist to talk to.
“I’m afraid to wake up at that house to see a man in my shed,” she replied.
Judge Hughes handed down a five month and a two month prison sentence, both of which he suspended for three years.
He also imposed an exclusion order on Mr McGuire to stay out of Longford for a period of three years and to have no contact, direct or indirect , with Ms Donohoe. “If he comes around your house, he will get five months plus whatever he gets for the new offence,” he assured Ms Donohoe.