Longford man on criminal damage charges to be out of prison ‘for the giblets’

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Longford man on criminal damage charges to be out of prison ‘for the giblets’

A man charged with smashing the window of a house in a Longford housing estate has been handed a number of prison sentences to run concurrently with a sentence he is already serving.

Martin Stokes, 44 Palace Crescent, Longford, is currently serving four months activated by the Circuit Court out of an 18 month suspended sentence. He was due to be released on October 22.

Sgt Paddy McGirl, for the state, explained that, on March 3, at 6,30pm, gardaí received a call to attend at a house in Springlawn where an intruder had entered the premises.

“One window of the house was broken and Mr Stokes had a cut to his hand. He caused €100 worth of damage and admitted to it,” Sgt McGirl explained.

Mr Stokes was also charged with a domestic disturbance at a premises in Palace Crescent, which took place on June 28, 2020. Gardaí received a call at approximately 9.55pm.

“Gardaí arrived and met Mr Stokes’ daughter in law who said she was having difficulty with him,” Sgt McGirl explained, adding that Mr Stokes was abusive to gardaí.

Gardaí were also called to a domestic disturbance in the same home on May 21, 2020, when he was “extremely intoxicated and abusive to others”, the court heard.

Solicitor, John Quinn, explained that his client, who had 32 previous convictions, “had been on the dry” for a long time but became “totally derailed” after his brother passed away and he “was on the beer for some time”.

“So he was on the beer and he got sentimental for his ex wife and went to see her. When he wasn’t welcome, he smashed her window,” said Judge Hughes.

“No, it wasn’t her house, it was an empty house,” Mr Stokes corrected him.

“I don’t think you have any remorse,” said Judge Hughes.

“I do, your honour,” Mr Stokes replied.

Mr Quinn explained that his client had stayed out of trouble for quite some time before these alleged offences, and that he had apologised to the guards for his behaviour.

“You don’t apologise. You’ve a blue tongue and you have no respect for them. You must have respect for the guards,” Judge Hughes snapped.

“I have to drive that into your brain and the way to do that is a week or two weeks or three weeks in a prison cell to think about what happens when you don’t respect the guards.

“You don’t give a damn about anyone else. You’re not going to walk into this court and get a slap on the wrists. So the decision to make now is do you have Christmas dinner in prison or at home.” he continued.

“I’m giving you three months for trespassing, concurrent with existing sentence, three months concurrent for criminal damage, six weeks concurrent for the section 6, and two months concurrent for the section 13.

“So you will be at home for the giblets.”

Before matters were finalised, solicitor for Longford County Council Frank Gearty noted that Mr Stokes was also appearing on a litter charge, explaining that the accused’s social welfare documents were found in waste dumped at a neighbouring property.

Judge Hughes fixed cash bail of €400 in relation to the littering offence.