A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford Circuit Court after he failed to attend appointments with the Probation Service was ordered to pay €4,000 to the Garda Benevolent Fund.
Jan Dudas, 85 Abhainn Glas, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson convicted of possession of a controlled drug - methamphetamine; possession of a firearm; possession of a firearm without a licence and possession of a taser gun in Edgeworthstown, following a court hearing into the matter in December 2014.
As part of the sentence Mr Dudas had been ordered to engage with the Probation Service, however he missed three appointments and the service re-entered the matter to Longford Circuit Court.
Outlining the case to the court, State solicitor Mark Connellan said the matter centred around a circuit court ruling in which the defendant had been sentenced to three years in prison, suspended on the grounds that he pay €3,000 to the Garda Benevolent Fund.
The defendant had also been referred to the Probation Service.
The Service, the court heard, had scheduled three appointments for the defendant following the court hearing, however he failed to turn up for those appointments.
“The Probation Service discovered that he was no longer living at his address in Edgeworthstown and was uncontactable,” added Mr Connellan.
Meanwhile, in mitigation, counsel for the defendant Mr Niall Flynn BL said that his client had in fact left the jurisdiction and was now employed in Northern Ireland.
“Mr Dudas is in court here today and I have informed him that he should not have left the jurisdiction without first informing the Probation Service,” he added before pointing out that his client was regarded as an exemplary employee by the company he worked for and management had transferred him to their new set up in Northern Ireland because of his work ethic.
“The company has no problem, however, transferring him back to the south if needs be.”
During his deliberations on the matter Judge Johnson said that he found it extraordinary that the defendant could just “hightail it off” to Northern Ireland and not inform anyone.
“It is grossly disrespectful to the Probation Service and to this court,” fumed the Judge.
Meanwhile, Mr Flynn BL said that his client accepted his wrongdoing in the matter and was willing to relocate back to the south in an effort to comply with any conditions that the court might impose.
Addressing counsel directly, Judge Johnson said it was necessary for a “marker to go out” [into the public domain] that when a defendant was handed probation, they carried out the orders.
“I want €4,000 for the Garda fund and then I will determine what I will do,” concluded the Judge.