A YOUNG man who entered a restricted area at Henry Street garda station will have to complete 60 hours of Community Service to avoid a prison sentence.
During a contested hearing, Garda Barry Manton said he observed Simon Quilligan, aged 20, of Rhebogue Halting Site, Dublin Road entering the restricted area from the public office at the garda station on November 25, last.
He said as he entered the garda station through the main entrance, he observed the defendant sitting in the public office.
He described how shortly after a civilian member of staff had passed through a security door, he saw Quilligan “jump up” and catch the door before it closed.
He said after “looking around” the defendant then passed through the door and made his way down a stairwell towards the custody suite at the the garda station.
Garda Manton said the door is fitted with a keypad and a soft-locking mechanism and that Mr Quilligan did not have permission to enter the restricted area.
“I believe he entered with the intention of committing an offence,” he said.
In his evidence, the defendant said he had presented himself at the garda station on the day to have penal warrants relating to unpaid fines executed.
While accepting he was aware he had entered a restricted area, he said he had done so as his girlfriend had been arrested and he wanted to see if she needed anything.
“It was just a spur of the moment thing, I only just wanted to speak with her, he told his solicitor Sarah Ryan.
Convicting Quilligan of the offence, Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he had no doubt he had “waited until he received an opportunity to slip in through the door” and that it was reasonable to infer his intention was to commit an unlawful offence.
“It’s not good enough that he feels he can just walk around a garda station,” he said indicating that a two month prison sentence is warranted. However, he adjourned the case to November 26, next for a community service report.