26 Jun 2022

Longford man escapes conviction for damaging cars in ‘fit of rage’

Longford court house.

A man who damaged two cars in a “fit of rage” after finding his father drunk, has escaped criminal conviction.

Shane Stephenson, Garvagh, Ballinalee, Co Longford, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage at last week's District Court sitting following an incident at the aforementioned address on June 13, 2021.

The accused man's father addressed the court to insist the incident was one which he accepted a large degree of responsibility for.

The man said he had been going through personal difficulties of his own when his son found him in an intoxicated state.

“I had a bad moment and I can't tell you why or anybody why,” he told the Judge.

“He (son) found me drunk three weeks later, he went mad and I don't blame him.”

Mr Stephenson was also charged with two public order offences following the incident.

The court was told Mr Stephenson had six previous convictions on his record including a conviction for Section 6 of the Public Order Act dating back to November 2017.

Given the circumstances, Judge Hughes deemed it appropriate to spare the accused any further form of criminal sanction and instead issued him with Section 1 (2) of the Probation Act.

In doing so, the accused man's father gestured towards the bench to make a further statement on the matter.

After being told to keep whatever he wished to say brief, the man suggested that greater discretion could have been exercised on the night.

“On the night it happened I think, and no disrespect to the Gardaí, but they should have had more consultation with what happened,” he remarked.

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