Man who struck ‘friend’ chooses prison over community service

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Limerick Court
A LIMERICK man who pleaded guilty to public order offences outside the Regional Maternity Hospital has chosen prison over community service.

A LIMERICK man who pleaded guilty to public order offences outside the Regional Maternity Hospital has chosen prison over community service.

David Johnson, 21, of Upper Carey’s Road, pleaded guilty at Limerick District Court to public intoxication and threatening and abusive behaviour arising from the incident on August 3 last.

Garda Ger Shoer had responded to a disturbance and was speaking to a group of males when Johnson “ran up and struck one of the males on the side of the head with a can of lager”, Sgt Donal Cronin said.

Solicitor John Devane said the man struck was a friend of Johnson’s. No charge of assault arose from the incident.

Johnson also pleaded guilty to public order offences at the Topaz service station, Childers Road, on May 24 last, when Garda Josephine Falvey observed the accused with a broken bottle in his hand, facing a group of youths. While he had been “reasonably compliant” when told to desist, he was “extremely intoxicated” on the date, Sgt Cronin said.

Mr Devane said his client’s offending was rooted in an alcohol problem but he had been “off the drink for the last two weeks and intends to stay off it”.

Asked by Judge Eugene O’Kelly whether his client was prepared to do community service, the solicitor at first suggested that he was. The judge adjourned the matter for four weeks in order for the Probation and Welfare Service to carry out a suitability report.

Minutes later, Mr Devane approached the bench to say his client was not in fact prepared to go down that route.

“Mr Johnson is more willing to go to jail than to do community service,” Mr Devane said.

Judge O’Kelly obliged by sentencing Johnson to four months in prison for the first offence of threatening and abusive behaviour and a consecutive four-month term for the second offence. The public intoxication matters were taken into consideration.