A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Public Order Act was sentenced to two months in prison following a hearing into the matter.
Calem Meade, 9 Trumra Road, Granard, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with possession of a knife at Earl Street, Longford on December 17, 2016.
He was also further charged with being intoxicated in a public place and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour at Earl Street, Longford, and of assault causing harm at Convent Road, Longford on the same date.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláthín Moran said the on December 17, 2016, Sergeant McGlynn received a call to attend to a disturbance at a takeaway in Longford town.
“When he arrived at the scene, he spoke to two gentlemen who said Mr Meade had run after them with a knife,” she added.
“They also told Sergeant McGlynn that one of them had received a minor injury from the knife and Mr Meade had run off towards the train station after the incident had occurred.
The court then heard that the local sergeant subsequently made his way to Longford train station and that when he arrived there he observed Calum Meade running towards him brandishing a knife in his hand.
“Mr Meade dropped the knife out of his hand when he saw Sergeant McGlynn and began running in the opposite direction,” Inspector Moran continued.
“Sergeant McGlynn subsequently caught up with the defendant and Mr Meade was very abusive to him.”
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said his client had been mixed up with people he should not have been mixed up with at the time of the incident that was now before the court.
“It was cracked what he did and he is very remorseful over what has happened,” the solicitor continued.
“He has never been inside prison before and this incident happened at a time in his life when he went off the rails.
“His father had been sent to prison and that was what sent him over the edge.”
Meanwhile, the defendant addressed the court.
He apologised for what he did and indicated to Judge Hughes that it would never happen again.
“I was wrong to have done what I did,” he said.
Mr Gearty then told the Judge that his client has learned a “major” lesson since the incident.
“He is engaged now and is staying out of the Longford area altogether,” he added.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that the defendant was a young man who had an appalling record when it came to public order.
“Here he is now before me again, except this time he had a knife and as far as this court is concerned this cannot go on.
“In this particular incident, a knife was used and this court must send out a deterrent in the Longford area not to carry or use a knife.”
The Judge then signalled his intention to send the defendant to prison, but for a short period only, in the hope that he would learn from it.
“The problem that district court judges now face is when they decide to send someone to prison,” he said.
“When they are sent to prison they are being released after serving only a short time and here I am now wanting to deal with this matter short and sharply; but will it work?
“I want to send Mr Meade to prison for a few weeks and I want him to serve every day of that sentence, but yet there are no guarantees that will happen.”
The Judge subsequently sentenced the defendant to two months in prison before concluding matters.