“You just don’t enter people’s houses, it’s an unacceptable thing to do,” says Longford Judge

Defendant tells judge he has respect for women, but not a lot

Longford Leader

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Six months in prison for Leitrim man who stole from a church

Longford District Court

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged with criminal damage and assault was sentenced to seven months in jail following a hearing into the matter.

Joe McDonagh of no fixed abode, appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with causing criminal damage and assaulting Annemarie McEntire at 1 Congress Terrace, Longford on January 17 last.

The defendant was also further charged with engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour at An Cussan, Lisbrack Road, Longford on May 9, 2017.

Outlining the evidence in the case to the court, Inspector Declan Rock said that at approximately 17:50 on January 17 last, gardaí were notified about a disturbance at a house in Longford town’s Congress Terrace.

“The injured party contacted the Gardaí and said she discovered a male in her house when she returned to the premises,” said the Inspector.

“She also stated that a window panel had been broken.”

Meanwhile, the court heard that gardaí arrived at the house and spoke to the injured party who told them that the defendant had broken into her house.

“She said that she found Mr McDonagh in the sitting room of her home, lying on the couch,” Inspector Rock continued.

“He then pushed her back against the wall and held a screwdriver to her face.

“The injured party said that Mr McDonagh threatened her and said, ‘If you call the Gardaí, I’ll stick you up the arse with this’.”

Addressing the Judge directly, Mr McDonagh said that he was asleep on the couch when the woman entered her home.
“I didn’t threaten her,” he fumed.

“She is the one that pushed me against the wall; I admit I did have a screwdriver with me, but I never threatened her.

“Lots of people beat women in Ireland, but I don’t.

“I have a little bit of respect - not a lot - but I do have respect for women.”

The defendant went on then to tell the court that he never touched Ms McEntire.

“She told me to get the f*** out of her house and I did - I just left,” he added.

Meanwhile, Inspector Rock said that on May 9 last gardaí received a report of a male lying on the Lisbrack Road.

He added, “When gardaí arrived in the area, Mr McDonagh was roaring and shouting in the estate”.

The Inspector said that Mr McDonagh came over to the patrol car and “headbutted” it.

“He shouted at the Gardaí and called them f***ing w***ers,” continued Inspector Rock before pointing out that the defendant was also highly intoxicated on the night.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client accepted he was intoxicated that night and did treat the Gardaí very “unfavourably”.

“He and the victim in the other matter, know each other well and he had been to her house on a number of occasions before this happened,” said Mr Quinn before pointing out that his client had told him that he did not assault the woman.

“While he admits being in her house, Joe says that the woman in question was over six feet tall and well able to push him,” added the solicitor.

“He was under the impression that he was a welcome guest at that house; he was lying on the couch when the woman came in and she got annoyed because he did not have permission to be there.”

During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes pointed to the fact that Mr McDonagh had spent most of his adult life in prison.

The Judge also added, “You just don’t enter people’s houses; it’s an unacceptable thing to do”.

Judge Hughes subsequently sentenced the defendant to seven months in prison before bringing matters to a conclusion.