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10 Aug 2022

Drunken man pays €400 after smashing windscreen of Tullamore taxi

Drunken man pays €400 after smashing windscreen of Tullamore taxi

Compensation was paid at Tullamore District Court

A DRUNKEN man who called gardai “pigs” and “c...s” before smashing the window of a taxi has paid €400 in compensation, Tullamore District Court has heard.

The man broke the taxi window when he was refused service because he had no money, Tullamore District Court was told the previous week.

David Fenton, 9 Healy Street, Tullamore, was ordered to pay €400 as a result of the incident on March 8, 2020, including €200 for a broken windscreen.

His solicitor, Donal Farrelly, told Judge Staines the money for the broken windscreen had been handed over and Mr Fenton regretted the incident. Judge Staines applied the Probation Act.

At the previous week's sitting of the court, Sergeant James O'Sullivan outlined how gardai received a call in relation to the 36-year-old man being highly intoxicated at Healy Street.

He was a danger to himself and when the gardai arrived he started shouting and calling them names in the presence of other members of the public.

Sergeant O'Sullivan said he was arrested for his own safety and was detained in the Garda Station, from where he was released after sobering up to some degree.

At 10.40pm he abused the driver of a taxi who had refused him entry because he had no money and he punched the windscreen, breaking it and causing €200 worth of damage.

Judge Catherine Staines was told the accused had 16 previous convictions for public order offences, including convictions in Mullingar and Longford District Courts.

Defending solicitor Mr Farrelly said his client had a partner and three-month-old child and had spent three months in the Cuan Mhuire treatment centre since the incident.

An electrician who is currently in employment, he was no longer drinking.

Asked by Judge Staines if his client had €200 to pay for the damage to the taxi, Mr Farrelly said he did not because he was not aware he'd have to pay it on the day.

Judge Staines said Mr Fenton could not be surprised because he broke the windscreen a year earlier.

Speaking on the morning of the court, she said the defendant was to have the money in court by 2pm.

Mr Fenton said he would have to get the money from the Credit Union in Mullingar and he was not currently driving.

Judge Staines then adjourned the matter to this week's court sitting (Wednesday, February 10) and said Mr Fenton would have to pay €400.

In addition to the broken windscreen, she said she was sure it was very inconvenient for the taxi driver because he probably had to take a day off work to get the window fixed.

Mr Fenton pleaded guilty to five offences, public drunkenness and breaches of the peace at both Healy Street and William Street, and damaging the vehicle of Albert Oleszczuk at William Street.

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