A KILFINANE man who was sentenced to three months in prison for brandishing an iron bar at youths who had been throwing stones at his house has had the jail term suspended on appeal.
Gardai had been called to a disturbance at the home of 43-year-old Patrick Prendiville at Main Street, Kilfinane, on March 14, 2011, state solicitor Aidan Judge told Limerick Circuit Court.
When officers arrived, they found Prendiville and another male in an intoxicated state on the street and they had in their possession a two-and-a-half-foot iron bar, which gardai had had to seize from the accused.
Prendiville was convicted for possession of the article, contrary to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, in Kilmallock Court in February 2012 and was sentenced to three months in prison, Judge Carroll Moran was told.
While he had appealed that sentence, Prendiville was currently serving a two-month jail term, imposed last month, for an assault carried out in August 2012.
Prison, said his barrister Eimear Carey, “has been an eye opener for him” and he did not wish to spend further time in prison beyond his release date on February 11.
Ms Carey said that Prendiville suffered from “a chronic drink problem” and that he had “simply lost the head on the date in question”.
“This wasn’t the first time that the youths (who were throwing stones at his house) had been provoking him,” Ms Carey said.
Judge Moran said that given that “there was an element of provocation here”, something about the sentence “did not make sense”, particularly since he had no convictions prior to February 2012.
Ms Carey said that while Prendiville had no previous convictions on that date, bench warrants had to be issued for his arrest on two occasions and he may have been sentenced in his absence.
Judge Moran agreed to suspend the three-month sentence for possession of an iron bar for 12 months “on condition he doesn’t commit any crimes within those 12 months” and the lodgement of a €100 bond.