Bipolar man stole whiskey
A MAN who suffers from bipolar disorder has been given a suspended 15-month prison sentence at Wexford District Court.
The defendant pleaded guilty to stealing a bottle of whiskey valued at €20 from Tesco supermarket on April 9 last; engaging in threatening or abusive words or behaviour in Monck Street on February 19; refusing to comply with a garda direction in Wolfe Tone Villas in August 2011, and driving a motorbike dangerously at Michael Street in July 2011.
The court heard that gardaí received a report of a male causing a disturbance at Wolfe Tone Villas and when they went to the scene, the defendant became abusive.
In relation to the incident in Monck Street, he had his shirt off, was threatening and abusive towards members of the public, and was trying to start a fight.
After taking the whiskey from Tesco, he was observed on the escalator drinking from the bottle.
In relation to the dangerous driving offence, evidence was given that he was followed by gardaí after he failed to stop. He made a number of dangerous manoeuvres before eventually coming to a halt at High Street. He was not wearing a helmet and did not have insurance.
The judge was told the defendant has 27 previous convictions.
His solicitor handed in a medical report and said his client suffers from bipolar disorder and is essentially 'mentally ill'.
The solicitor asked the court not to impose a prison sentence 'considering his mental condition'.
Judge Haughton said he accepted the defendant had a medical condition which was causing him some difficulties but ' this court had to be mindful of his behaviour in the past and do something that will act as a deterrent in the future'.
He sentenced him to 15 months in prison, suspended for 18 months on condition that he enter a bond to keep the peace, and banned him from driving for 10 years.