03 Oct 2022

Tipperary courts: three months' jail for man who broke suspended sentence bond

Tipperary courts: three months' jail for man who broke suspended sentence bond

Nenagh Courthouse

A Nenagh man who broke the terms of his peace bond has been jailed for three months by Nenagh Court after the Gardai applied to have the sentence activated.

Jimmy Fitzgerald of 33 Drom Slinne, Portroe, had been sentenced to six months in jail in April 2017, suspended for 18 months on condition he enter a bond of €500 to keep the peace.

However, Nenagh Court was told last Friday that Mr Fitzgerald had been found intoxicated in public at Drom Slinne on August 25, 2018, and he had also failed to comply with the directions of a Garda.

When brought to Nenagh Garda station that day, he was found to be in possession of €25 worth of cannabis.

The court heard that Mr Fitzgerald, who is aged 22, had 37 previous convictions.

Mr Fitzgerald's solicitor, Pat Liston, told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that his client was a young man who had been going ok and had joined his local GAA club.

“Addiction has been his big problem,” said Mr Liston.

The solicitor told the court that while his client had a bad record, he had always admitted his offences.

“I know your hands are tied. He knows he has been given numerous opportunities,” said Mr Liston pleading for leniency.

Mr Liston said his client had had a “difficult upbringing”.

Mr Fitzgerald's aunt, Bernadette Fitzgerald said her nephew had been staying with her since last January and was doing “really well”.

She said Mr Fitzgerald's mother had left and gone to England.

“I know I am asking for a miracle,” said Ms Fitzgerald, pleading that the defendant not be jailed.

She said her nephew had started counselling and she would “be there for him now”.

Judge MacGrath said that while she had a “certain sympathy” for Mr Fitzgerald, she noted his record.

“A custodial sentence has to be imposed. My difficulty is his history. I have given him a chance. I have no option but to impose a custodial sentence,” she said.

However, the judge said that she would not impose the full six months and activated three months of the six-month sentence.

In relation to the new charges, she fined Mr Fitzgerald €80 for possession of cannabis at Banba Suare, Nenagh, on August 25, 2018.

She fined him €100 for failing to comply with the directions of a Garda at Drom Slinne on August 25, 2018 and took the rest of the charges into consideration.

“You have to get a handle on your problem. You have to take responsibility,” Judge MacGrath told the defendant.

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