Man pleads guilty to assaulting his frail grandfather
A SIGN language interpreter helped a mother follow proceeding in the District Court as her son pleaded guilty to assaulting his frail and elderly grandfather.
Before the court in Ardcavan was Peter Winters (23) with an address at Castleview, Bridgetown, represented by solicitor Lana Doherty.
Ms Doherty spent some time with the family before Judge Gerard Haughton dealt with the case. The grandfather, John Winters was sworn in ready to give his evidence of what happened last month in Castleview. At that point, the defendant indicated that he did not wish to put the injured party through the ordeal of testimony.
A plea of guilty to assault was entered and the judge confirmed to the grandfather that his evidence would not be required. At that point, the old man apologised to the accused for some of the terrible things he had said.
The court heard a summary of what occurred on November 25 when Peter Winters came to the house in Mulrankin. There was an argument over money and the defendant threw water over his grandfather, later throwing a dog on to the bed where John was lying. The old man activated his panic button to call gardaí who found the accused hiding in fields nearby. The defendant then spent two weeks in prison custody.
The judge was reminded that a suspended sentence was hanging over the defendant as a result of breaches of a barring in force at the house. The order was taken out by his grandmother, since deceased. Judge Haughton said that, by law, he must formally consider the suspended terms the next day (Wednesday, December 9). He remanded Winters in custody for one more night but indicated that he would not be looking to extend the time spent in custody any further.
When the case was called the following day, Ms Doherty said that her client had nowhere else to go other than to his family. 'He has finally agreed that he needs to go in to treatment in relation to drink and drugs,' she said.
She added that if he is in custody in Cloverhill, he can be assessed by a staff member from a treatment facility, and if he is approved for a place, he can go from Cloverhill to treatment. She said that he wants to be home for Christmas but accepts he has to go to Cloverhill to get a chance of going for treatment.
'The safest option for everybody involved is if he was remanded to try get into treatment,' she said, adding that if he was let out on bail it could be up to eight weeks before he gets in. She took some time to consult with him about the implications of being kept in prison during December.
Judge Haughton said he was open to facilitating his treatment as quickly as possible and remanded him in custody to appear in Wexford court on December 21. 'There are only two options in this case,' he said. 'One is treatment and the other is prison.'