A man accused of urinating in a garda cell, resulting in a cleaning bill of €170 has been handed a number of fines, with three months to pay.
William Lawrence, Cloncovid, Co Cavan, appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes at Longford District Court last week where he explained that he was unable to pay the €170 because he’d been in custody for a dangerous driving incident which resulted in a garda being hospitalised with a broken wrist.
“You put me on remand for three weeks and I had to pay €1,000 bail but while I was in custody my money stopped,” Mr Lawrence told Judge Hughes.
“Isn’t the High Court judge very well paid?” Judge Seamus Hughes quipped.
Solicitor for the defence explained that Mr Lawrence is on “very strict bail conditions”, signing on every day and abiding by a strict curfew.
“You’re back out now, though, so you’re getting your money again,” said Judge Hughes.
Reading the evidence to the court, Sgt Mark Mahon, for the state, explained that the offence took place on January 18,2021.
“At 5.30pm on the Battery Road, gardaí received reports of a male highly intoxicated lying against the wall on the road,” he said.
“He became abusive and was handcuffed. He resisted being brought into the station and continued spitting at gardaí. He urinated in the cell and the cell had to be closed down and there was a €170 cleaning bill.”
“I didn’t urinate. That was water I threw on the wall,” Mr Lawrence insisted.
The court heard that Mr Lawrence had 39 previous convictions, eight of which were for criminal damage.
“With Covid restrictions, he had no reason to be where he was,” said Sgt Mahon.
In mitigation, Mr Gearty explained that his client “has a history of drug use”.
“He’s had a Walter Mitty lifestyle and lives with his two children. They’re teens who are going to school. And he’d have his cans and his cannabis.”
Judge Hughes fined Mr Lawrence €250 for criminal damage, €105 for breaching Covid regulations and €105 for abusive behaviour, giving him three months to pay.
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