25 Jan 2022

Tullamore teenager in court after throwing rock at moving garda car

Tullamore teenager in court after throwing rock at moving garda car

Tullamore teenager in court after throwing rock at moving garda car

A TEENAGER with 'certain issues' with the gardai was at the rear of Tullamore Garda Station in the early hours one morning last year throwing stones over a wall at guards' vehicles.

Tullamore District Court also heard that Thomas Power, 18, of 47 Grand Canal Court, Tullamore, threw a rock at a garda car when it was being driven.

On a different date Mr Power drove dangerously around Tullamore, colliding with a traffic light junction box and a timber railing.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan told the court that at 1.22am on a Tuesday morning Mr Power was at the rear of the station shouting abusive language towards gardai and saying he was going to smash their cars.

Guards spoke to him and the aggression persisted and he was still present 30 minutes later and was still shouting insulting and threatening words to gardai.

Sergeant O'Sullivan told Judge Catherine Staines the youth was seen by a garda from the second floor window of the station picking up stones from a nearby flower bed and throwing them at cars in the station car park.

Mr Power pleaded guilty to being drunk in public at Patrick's Court, threatening to damage cars by throwing cans, bottles and stones over the back wall of the station and damaging another garda car at Kilbride Street by throwing a stone at it while it was in motion.

Judge Staines read a victim impact report from the garda whose car was damaged while it was moving and was told by Sergeant James O'Sullivan that he had not made an insurance claim, but instead got the vehicle fixed himself.

Pleas had been previously entered to charges alleging dangerous driving on February 27, 2021 at Church Road, Cloncollig roundabout, Tesco roundabout, on the N52 bypass, at Chancery Lane, New Road, Church Street and O'Moore Street, plus driving without insurance at Church Road.

The accused also admitted failing to turn up in court while on bail on July 21 and July 28, 2021, failing to give his name and address to gardai on a different occasion, public order offences and damaging garda vehicles.

Judge Staines was told by defending solicitor Donal Farrelly that Mr Power had gone to Manchester to see if he could improve his life and get a job but it didn't work out and he returned.

Mr Farrelly said he had “a long chat” with his client before the court appearance and told him that it was very important for him to pay for the damage to the garda's car.

The solicitor said Mr Power had certain issues with the gardai and he felt himself he had “certain problems” which the accused did wish to address.

Mr Farrelly assured the court the defendant would co-operate with the probation service.

Judge Staines warned Mr Power that unless he co-operated she could give him a two-year sentence.

“That's what all of these charges amount to,” she said. “This isn't normal behaviour. It's dangerous criminal behaviour.”

She noted he had pleaded guilty and explained that the probation service could help him to understand why he was offending and assist him with training or employment.

She warned him that this represented his final chance and said she wanted him to read the victim impact report from the garda whose car was hit by the stone and who previously had no dealings with the accused.

“He had a rock thrown at his car. It was very frightening,” she said, telling Mr Farrelly: “I want your client to think about that, read the victim impact statement and write a letter of apology.”

She adjourned sentencing to December 22 next for a probation report.

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