Wednesday 18 September 2019

Court Digest

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

Back problem

A bad back is no excuse for not coming to court, Judge John Coughlan ruled in the case of Kenny Lawlor (33) of Flat 2, Ballytramon, Castlebridge.

Accused of driving without valid insurance in Clonard on April 24 last year, Lawlor was represented by solicitor Ed King who produced a medical certificate.

'He has a back pain,' remarked the judge after reading the document. 'He's able to be here.'

He adjourned for a couple of days to allow the missing defendant to appear, to the Gorey sitting of the District Court on June 4.

'Have him there on that date,' he advised Mr King but the solicitor was unable to oblige.

When the matter came up again two days later in Gorey, the court was told that the back condition had not improved.

A warrant was issued for Lawlor's arrest

No show

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Charles Masson (25) of 95/97 North Main Street in Wexford after he failed to show at the District Court sitting of June 2. He was listed to deal with two theft charges alleging shoplifting at Shaw's department store Wexford last October. Solicitor John O'Donovan accepted that there was no sign of Masson before Judge John Coughlan made out the warrant.

Absent again

A bench warrant requiring gardaí to arrest William McDonald (34) of 22A Ferndale Park in Wexford was handed down at the District Court in Wexford. Solicitor Tim Cummings recalled that a warrant had been issued previously against his client who was due to deal with criminal damage charges brought by Gardaí Richard Fitzgerald and Madeleine Holmes. Judge John Coughlan repeated the exercise.


A magnetic device designed to stall the tachograph in his lorry was found in the cab of a Spanish driver.

Federico Mendez, with an address at Saria Lugo in Spain attended the District Court with an interpreter.

The offence was detected by Garda Sergeant Peter Griffin when he stopped an articulated lorry at Killinick on November 28 last.

Solicitor Tim Cummings suggested that his client resorted to the magnet because he was half an hour short of the prescribed rest period that day.

Judge John Coughlan felt that the practice of interfering with the tachograph was dangerous and imposed fines totalling €1,000.

In Norway

Judge John Coughlan proved reluctant to convict a man who indicted a plea of guilty in response to a charge of handling stolen property.

The offence by Brian Murphy from 4 Bearlough Villas, Rosslare Strand date back to January 7 and it was detected at his home by Garda Sergeant Peter Griffin.

Murphy did not attend the court sitting at Ardcavan but solicitor Tim Cummings was present to tell the court that his client had started a new life in Norway.

'If I convict him, he will be thrown out of Norway,' mused the judge, who preferred to adjourn in order to allow the court find out more about the matter and the defendant's circumstances.

Many charges

The name John Murphy appeared 16 times on the list at Wexford District Court last week but there was no appearance by the man himself.

The 35 year old with addresses at Ballyowen in Wellingtonbridge and The Oil in Oylegate was scheduled to deal with a variety of charges which included counts of arson, burglary, handling stolen property and driving without insurance.

His solicitor Ed King attempted to have all matters put back to June 29 but Garda Inspector Pat McDonnell was not happy at the absence of the accused and he successfully applied for an arrest warrant.


Lottery licences for fundraising activities were handed down to a couple of organisations when Judge John Coughlan at the District Court in Wexford on June 2. The licences were made out for Father Denis Kelly as the curate in charge of Screen parish and for Declan Flynn as an officer of Shelmaliers Ladies FC.

Cash in hand

A sum of money seized by gardaí during a drugs investigation was forfeited to the State at the District Court. The successful application was made by Garda Inspector Pat McDonnell who recalled that €665 was retained by colleagues who stopped a man in Wexford on March 1 in 2013. A quantity of heroin was also seized at the same time. The inspector explained that the whereabouts of the man is now unknown, so he was not notified of the application.

Compo due

The case of a man with outstanding burglary, theft and assault cases before the District Court was adjourned once more on June 2. Judge John Coughlan was told that Jan Barcikowiski (36) with an address at 60 Meadow Avenue, Whiterock Hill in Wexford had €590 to hand over in court by way of compensation. The total bill amounted to €2,500, reported solicitor Tim Cummings. The matter was put back to June 29.


Public order offences were committed in Wexford town by a prisoner on release from a five year jail term. Appearing before Judge John Coughlan on June 2 was Darren Butler of 47 Milrose Court in George's Street. He admitted drunkenness and threatening/abusive behaviour at North Main Street late at night on May 23.

Speaking up for the accused, solicitor Colette Culleton accepted that her client had been very aggressive to Garda Richard Fitzgerald on the night in question. She insisted that Butler is not what she called a drinking man, not least because alcohol does not agree with medication. However, on this occasion, he met and old friend. She suggested that it was an aberration.

The incident in Main Street occurred nine months after he was released from Shelton Abbey under supervision. Ms Culleton reckoned that, since returning to Wexford, Butler had tried very hard to put his life in order.

However, the prosecution pointed out that it was a condition of his release that he must remain sober. He was convicted of threatening/abusive and sent to Wheatfield Prison to serve a two month sentence. Before leaving, Butler thanked the court and apologised to Garda Fitzgerald for what happened.

No hospital

A Dublin man who sent word to the District Court in Wexford that he was in hospital was not in fact under treatment. Daniel Wall (23) of 4 Greenhills Drive in Tallaght was due to deal with a Rosslare Strand trespass charge. A barrister was in court to relay the message that Wall was in his local hospital.

However, Inspector Pat McDonnell asked for time to check this out. When the matter was re-called, the inspector reported that the absent defendant was not in hospital. Or, as counsel put it, his instructions had not been correct.

In custody

No bail was allowed once again to theft accused Ross Nolan (19) of 18 Radharc na Mara, Coolcotts, Wexford. Garda Inspector Pat McDonnell successfully applied to the District Court for a continued remand in custody.

Nolan stood charged with thefts from Centra and Tesco last month and a guilty plea was indicated. However, Judge John Coughlan noted that further, more serious, matters including trespass are due to be dealt with.

While it was accepted that the defendant had no previous convictions, the inspector was concerned that Nolan and other youths had been causing consternation for the people of Wexford. He also complained that the accused had not been abiding by bail condition before he was taken into custody.

The judge sent Ross Nolan back to prison on remand until June 15 to allow Judge Gerard Haughton deal with the case.

Attending pays

Motorists who appeared in person at the District Court in Ardcavan to deal with speeding summonses were dealt modest €40 fines for the offence. Among those convicted were: Matthias Werner, Newtown, Carrig-on-Bannow; Marie Tritschler, Old Court, New Ross; Annette Murphy, 75 Kylemore Avenue, Dublin; Sean Harrington, West End, Bere Island, Cork; John Ring, 16 Carraig Moor, Lott Lane, Kilcoole.

Castlebridge speed

GATSO speed traps operated by Garda Thomas Bolger at Castlebridge last year brought in hundreds of euro in fines after he gave evidence to the District Court in Ardcavan last week.

Motorists fined €40 each for breaking the 50 km/h limit in the village were: Mary Murphy, Cooney's Cross, Crossabeg; Robert Falvey Colbert of 28 Cois na Lí, Tralee; Patrick Donovan, Ballynamona, The Ballagh; David Murray, 6 Coiseden, Castlebridge; Neal O'Leary of Woodlands, Bregorteen, Barntown; Owen Leacy, formerly of 11 Hazelwood, Blackwater now resident at Inch in Blackwater.

Stiff fines

Stiffer penalties were set for speeding offenders who did not appear at the Tuesday sitting of the court: Dean Power of 22 MJ Sinnott Drive in Castlebridge (€200); Shannon Hore Meagher, Ballina, Curracloe (€200); Philip Thompson, 216 Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart (€200); Larry Kelly, Garryvadden, Blackwater (€200).

Fast fine

A €500 speeding fine was issued to Antoinette Ronan of Clologue in Camolin in her absence from the District Court in Wexford. Judge John Coughlan was told that the offender was timed driving at 128 km/h on the N25 at Ballinaboola where a 100 km/h limit applies. The date of the offence was November 9.

Carcur speed

A speed of 87 km/h in the 60 km/h zone at Carcur in Wexford brought a €400 fine down on Conor Murphy from Clonsharra in Duncannon. He was not present at the District Court in Ardcavan to hear the evidence provided to Judge John Coughlan by Garda Thomas Bolger about what occurred in Carcur on August 27 last.

Not believed

A defence claim in a speeding case that notice of a postal fine was not received cut no ice with Judge John Coughlan. He was dealing with the prosecution of Keith Kehoe from Johnstown, Ardcavan who hit 70 km/h on August 27 in Carcur where 60 km/h is the limit.

'If it was a social welfare cheque he would have got it,' commented the judge to solicitor Cormac Dunleavy. 'I don't believe him.' Mr Dunleavy responded that his client was not on social welfare as a fine of €40 was recorded against Kehoe's name.

Ferrycarrig trap

GATSO speed checks carried out last year at Ferrycarrig led to €40 fine for motorists who broke the 60 km/h limit in operation on that stretch of the N11: Donal O'Sullivan of 28 Seán Browne Crescent in Enniscorthy; Niamh McCormack, Cullentra House, Barntown; Dean O'Toole of 5 Father Murphy Park in Enniscorthy; Brendan Cummins of Wilkinstown in Navan; Joanna O'Brien of 9 Bellmount Close, Wicklow; Tony Mullen of St Mary's, Delvin Road, Gormanstown.

Motoring fines

Speeding fines were issued to a series of motorists dealt with at the District Court in Ardcavan on June 2: Adrian Furlong of 4 Rectory Grove in Duncormick (offence at Murrintown, fine €200); Miriam Regan of Rathmoylan House in Meath (Rocklands, €40); John Paul Jones of Poulpeasty in Clonroche (Mounthanover in New Ross; €400).

A conviction was also recorded against Deirdre Cousins of Ballyteigue, Kilmore Quay who was fined €40 for holding a mobile phone while driving at Drinagh on May 28 last year.

Strike out

A plea of guilty to a motor insurance offence was tendered in the case of Francis Stafford from Ballinlug, Killanne. The 49 year old farmer was intercepted without cover at Ballyvergin in Adamstown on May 24 last year. However, Judge John Coughlan struck out the case altogether after learning of the circumstances. Solicitor Colette Culleton explained that her client could not have known that a cheque had been refused and that the policy had been cancelled.

Nice girl

Suzanne Stafford (24) of 14 Heathfield, Clonard was banned from driving for 20 years for driving without insurance at last May. Judge John Coughlan indicated that he preferred to impose the lengthy ban rather than sending what he called 'nice girl' to jail.

He made his decision after learning that Ms Stafford was on the road while she was under disqualification in the wake of a previous conviction. Solicitor Tim Cummings explained that his unemployed client is a diabetic and took to the road in order to collect the insulin she need to treat the condition.

A fine of €100 was added to the loss of licence.


Fines were imposed on drivers who admitted having no insurance.

Diane Furlong (45) of Orristown, Killinick was intercepted by gardaí at Rocksborough on October 1. The court learned that she was not working and that she had no previous convictions. She was fined €250.

Katie George (25) of Ballyhealy North in Kilmore was described as a mother of two children. Solicitor Caitriona Walsh said that her client's partner had neglected to renew the policy before Ms George was stopped at Rocksborough on October 1. A fine of €50 was recorded.

Paid up

Outstanding motoring and drugs possession charges were struck out against Myles Connors of 1 Town Court, Westgate in Wexford. Solicitor Tim Cummings confirmed that his client had come up with a €300 contribution to the homeless hostel. 'There must be 500 Mylie Connors,' observed Judge John Coughlan.

Old case

A compensation payment of €925 and the carrying out of 200 hours community service paved the way for the striking out of long standing charges against Donal Breen of Flat 2, Walker's Mall, Charlotte Street, Wexford.

The theft and fraud case against the 43 year old Breen went back to Pettitt's supermarket in October of 2012.

Off road to 2035

A 20 year driving ban was imposed on Norbert Kwiatkowski with an address at Treesdale in Crosstown.

The 43 year old admitted being over the alcohol limit at Crosstown on December 17 earning himself a €75 fine and one year off the road.

It was also accepted that he was on the road on that occasion without insurance cover, attracting a further €100 fine and the 20 year disqualification.

The judge took into consideration a previous drink drive conviction by the unemployed former insulation company employee who suffered serious spinal injuries in a work accident.

No tax

A fine of €200 was set for factory worker Dahl Hamilton from 36 Evergreen, Whiterock Hill in Wexford, after he pleaded guilty to having no current tax displayed on his vehicle at Mulgannon Road on November 23

Two drink drive offences

Lee Gordon (21) of 15A Ferndale Park, Wexford committed two drink drive offences on the same night - at Clonard Road and then at Whiterock.

The District Court was told last week that the young motorist was uninsured at the time offences committed on January 16.

After being stopped the first time by Garda Linda Conway, he then drove off only to be intercepted once more, this time by Garda Sergeant Cormac Sheridan.

The drink driving cost the unemployed offender €150 in fines and four years off the road.

Having no insurance during the escapade meant a further €100 monetary penalty and a ten year disqualification from holding a driving licence.

Wexford People