Family support Limerick man who has a decade of criminal convictions

Judge Carol Anne Coolican

A COUNTY Limerick man who has a decade of criminal charges against him is still supported by his family, despite his two sisters pressing ahead with Garda complaints about him, a court heard.

The case against the man was dealt with behind closed doors in Newcastle West District Court this week as the charges relate to breaches of barring orders and other matters which prevent him from being identified.

Judge Carol Ann Coolican was given victim impact statements from the man’s two sisters and was told that his mother, who was in court, had dropped all of her complaints against him.

The man’s solicitor, Ted McCarthy, said that his client, who was escorted into court by two prison officers, has been in custody “for some months and he has been severely affected by it”.

“No one is supposed to like being in custody but if anyone has ever learned a lesson by being placed in custody, it is him.”

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Mr McCarthy said that his client has a serious drink problem and has recently lost his father, who also had a serious alcohol addiction.

“He has made efforts to deal with his alcoholism. He has been in Bruree and completed their course and has a support worker from AA. He also intends to contact support services as soon as he gets out of custody.

“His mindset is there to set things right. His family support him and want him to get well. They say that when he is sober, he is a decent hard-working man.”

Mr McCarthy asked the judge to consider some form of continued monitoring rather than a further custodial sentence.

Judge Coolican said that her difficulty is “that the problems go back ten years, with breaches of barring orders, criminal damage, and assault on his sisters.”

The Judge noted that it was not the first time the accused man had been in rehab.

She heard from Inspector Gearoid Thompson that the man has 17 previous convictions for matters including assault, 12 breaches of a barring order, and domestic violence.

Judge Coolican said that he “has the support of his family but that will wear thin”.

Sentencing him to one month in jail on the assault charges, suspended for six months, the Judge warned “if he comes back before me, he will not be getting any further opportunities”.