A young man caused €1600 worth of damage to two cars he jumped onto in Carrick-on-Suir while running away from a garda, Carrick-on-Suir District Court heard last week.
Cian Hassett from Powerstown, Clonmel pleaded guilty at the court to damaging two cars at the Texaco Service Station at John Street in Carrick-on-Suir on October 14 last year. He also pleaded guilty to damaging a door at a house in nearby O'Mahony Avenue the same day.
Gda. John Downey told the court Gda. Kirk was called to O'Mahony Avenue at 9pm on this date about criminal damage caused to the door of a house on the street. When the garda arrived at the scene Hassett ran away. Gda. Kirk eventually stopped Hassett who was abusive and aggressive. The garda pepper sprayed the defendant, who ran off again and jumped onto the bonnets of two cars causing €1000 damage to one vehicle and €600 damage to the second car. Gda. Kirk called in garda assistance from Clonmel. Mr Hassett lashed out on a number of occasions as Gda. Kirk was trying to restrain him. The officer was struck in the head.
Gda. Downey confirmed that Mr Hassett was disorientated after being pepper sprayed. In relation to the initial criminal damage incident, Gda. Downey said Mr Hassett caused €100 damage to the door of the house in O'Mahony Avenue.
When asked was there a reason why he damaged this door, Gda. Downey said he had taken a "substance" and called to this house looking for a phone. He kicked the door and ran off when the owner came out.
"He was out of it. He didn't know where he was going. He has no connection to the house in O'Mahony Avenue," the garda added.
Defence solicitor John Joy said this incident was a wake up call to Mr Hassett, who personally apologised to the garda for his behaviour. He didn't fully recall what happened. He had consumed an awful lot of alcohol and other substances on the day he committed these offences but has stayed away from anything like that since.
He also hadn't come to the attention of the gardai since this incident.
The solicitor explained that at the time, Mr Hassett was living in an after care house and was trying to deal with his independence as an 18 year-old. His client had a very disruptive upbringing. He left home at the age of 16 and was in care for two years after that.
Mr Joy pointed out that Mr Hassett now attends a full-time CTI course in sports recreation and was getting on well.
Judge Terence Finn said two car owners had suffered losses because of Mr Hassett's "athleticism" and the householder whose door was damaged also suffered financial loss but he hadn't heard Mr Joy address him about how his client intended to deal with this.
Mr Joy responded that his client wished to have the opportunity to compensate the property owners.
Judge Finn adjourned the case to Carrick-on-Suir District Court on October 17 and directed Mr Hassett to save compensation money in the intervening months.
"Depending on what is produced, the court may be further considerate but he is going to have to show a decent effort," the Judge stressed.