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19 Jan 2022

Judge tells Tullamore woman to take hands out of pockets

Judge tells Tullamore woman to take hands out of pockets

Judge tells woman to take her hands out of her pockets

A WOMAN was told to take her hands out of her pockets by a judge at Tullamore District Court.

“There's a way of doing things,” Judge Colm Roberts told Leanne Dooley, 27, Kilbride Street, Tullamore.

“Do you put your hands in your pockets in church?” he asked her.

Ms Dooley then took her hands out of her pockets and remarked: “Alright, my apologies.”

Ms Dooley appeared before the judge in custody having been arrested by Garda Niamh Conroy in relation to an unpaid fine dating from 2017.

The court was told that 18 warrants had been previously issued for Ms Dooley.

She was also before the court accused of public drunkenness and a breach of the peace at Kilbride Street on January 4 last.

Donal Farrelly, defending solicitor, said Ms Dooley had serious mental health difficulties but she did understand that she was due to go back to Athlone District Court for an appearance there. She had difficulties with drink and drugs.

Mr Farrelly said if she was granted bail she would attend court and added that she had been “very distracted” over the Christmas period.

Judge Roberts replied: “Christmas isn't happy for everyone. It can be quite difficult for some.”

Garda Conroy said bail was being opposed because of Ms Dooley's bench warrant history, which included three warrants in 2021, two in 2019, five in 2018 and eight in 2017.

Judge Roberts said that the previous day he had a case before him involving 27 warrants and the gardai had not opposed bail.

Mr Farrelly said Ms Dooley's father was prepared to assist the accused by providing an independent surety but he was not in court because she was currently disaffected from him.

He said she was hoping to repair relations with him. Mr Farrelly also suggested that the offences before the court were not serious ones.

Judge Roberts said the public order allegations were serious because “chaos” had allegedly been caused on the street because of gardai being abused.

If it happened in Tullamore and a tourist saw it they would say “Good luck to that, there's nicer places”.

In addition, it was being alleged that gardai had been insulted, even though they were inured because of the levels of abuse they get.

“They're human beings who deserve respect and do have feelings,” he said.

He said he would only grant the woman bail if she had a place to stay, if she would attend medical appointments and take her prescription medicines and if there was an independent surety.

“I don't want her to be in custody,” he said, leaving the matter stand for a period for inquiries to be made by the defence.

When the case was called again Mr Farrelly said that while his client was still disaffected from her father, she was continuing to live at the same address and she would say that she would appear in court as required.

Judge Roberts said he was considering adjourning the bail application. He looked at the accused and added: “She's still got her hands in her pockets.”

In her own evidence, Ms Dooley, who is on legal aid, said she had mental health difficulties and was on methadone, stating her dose was between 30 and 40mg.

When the judge asked her what the prescribed amount was, Ms Dooley said it was about 35 and she was trying to wean herself off it.

She also said that she was not taking other prescription medicines for her mental health because she believed they did not work. She assured the court that she would turn up in court on the next date and said she was not drinking alcohol.

Judge Roberts said the accused's own evidence was not helping her at all because she was reducing her methadone without medical advice and was not taking her other medication against medical advice.

When Ms Dooley said she had missed a previous court appearance because she was not notified about it, the judge replied: “Rubbish, you forgot at best. You couldn't care less at the worst.”

He told her bail would only be granted on condition she turned up in court.

Ms Dooley said some of her previous warrants had been cancelled at a previous sitting of the court.

Judge Roberts decided to grant bail on the woman's own bond of €250, along with an independent surety of €500, which would include €200 cash.

Other conditions of the bail included abstention from alcohol, a curfew between 10pm and 7am, and an order to sign in at Tullamore Garda Station twice a week.

Because no independent surety had been approved by Tullamore District Court last Wednesday, January 5, Ms Dooley was remanded in custody to appear at Mullingar District Court on January 6, and further remanded to Tullamore on January 12.

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