A RATHKEALE man who went berserk in a local pub after he was refused a drink was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Roger Ryan, aged 30, of Fairhill, Rathkeale pleaded guilty to charges of assault and criminal damage relating to an incident at Kathleen’s Bar on September 16, 2010.
During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told that after he was refused a drink and asked to leave, Ryan became aggressive and threw a bar stool at an elderly man. He then struck the man across the head with a pool cue before leaving the premises.
Once outside he smashed the front windows with rocks and caused almost €3,000 worth of damage to a jeep belonging to the publican –Kathleen Mulcair – which was parked outside.
Garda Tom Flavin said the accused man was only charged in connection with the incident last summer as he “left the scene that evening and fled to the UK”.
Garda Flavin told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that Ryan told gardai he had taken Xanax and drank a bottle of whiskey earlier in the night and could not remember what happened.
Judge Carroll Moran was told Ryan,who has 59 previous convictions, paid €3,500 in compensation to Mrs Mulcair last December and that he also paid €500 to the elderly man he assaulted.
Brian McInerney BL said his client’s “carry on was completely unacceptable and that he apologises unreservedly.
He said “there was a level of intoxication” on the night and that Ryan, who comes from a “nomadic background” intends starting a new life in the UK with his wife and young family when he is released from prison.
“His wife has tolerated his behaviour so far but he is on a yellow card,” he said.
Imposing sentence, Judge Moran described the offence as a ”ferocious attack”.
He said an aggravating factor was that the man Ryan assaulted was more than double his age. “It is pretty nasty for a young man to be attacking somebody more than twice his own age,” he said.
The judge commented that Ryan has a very bad criminal record and he noted that he had absconded following the incident. He said in the circumstances he had to impose a prison sentence.
He jailed Ryan for three years backdating the sentence to the date Ryan was first remanded in custody - June 8, last.
Since he returned to Limerick, Ryan has been banned from entering every local authority estate in Rathkeale.
In December, Limerick County Council was granted an exclusion order for three years after it initiated proceedings against Ryan and another man.