Man spat at Macroom bypass road worker

February 11th, 2023 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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A PENSIONER who was involved in ‘bad behaviour’ and ‘unprovoked spitting’ at a construction worker at the new Macroom bypass has been told by a judge that he faces jail if he comes to the attention of gardaí while serving a suspended sentence.

Corneilus O’Leary (82) with an address at Coolcower, Macroom appeared before Judge John King for sentencing at Bandon District Court last Friday, having been convicted at Macroom District Court two days previously of assaulting Daithi Evans and producing an article at Coolcower on August 2nd last.

Mr O’Leary had contested the two charges but was found guilty after the trial, and spent two days in prison ahead of sentencing.

At Bandon District Court last Friday, solicitor Patrick Gould said his client, who lives in a caravan near the new roundabout, has no water or electricity and has been living there the past two or three years. Prior to that, the defendant had been living in a derelict cottage.

Mr Gould said his client didn’t come to the attention of the gardaí until later in his life when he had an issue with ESB workers at 77 years of age, while there was also an assault charge from 11 years previous to that.

‘The Macroom section of the bypass is complete now, so my client will have no interaction with the Stop/Go system and that issue won’t happen again,’ said Mr Gould.

‘There had been long negotiations with Cork County Council  and Jons Engineering but they weren’t fruitful. But that issue is finished now and I spoke to a number of his neighbours and they will keep an eye on him. It seems to be statutory bodies that he gets involved in, and he is also known to the ESB.’

However, Judge King said that the defendant was involved in ‘unprovoked spitting in someone’s face’.

Mr Gould said that no person should be subject to that type of behaviour but added that the workers have moved on.

‘I’m not blaming them by the way and my client stands convicted and the war is over,’ said Mr Gould.

Judge King remarked: ‘Until the next time.’

‘I don’t accept it has anything to do with the bypass, it’s bad behaviour. He spat in a person’s face and was waving his walking stick at people. When gardaí approached him he laughed,’ said Judge King.

The court heard that he has three previous convictions, including assault, and received suspended sentences for those offices.

Mr Gould asked the court to take into consideration his client’s age and infirmity but Judge King said he is hiding behind them. He said it was ‘debatable’ whether he should send him back to prison.

However, Judge King said he would  give him ‘one last chance’ and sentenced him to four months on the assault charge but suspended it for three years in the defendant’s own bond of €500.

He directed him not to have any contact with the injured parties and to be of good behaviour and commit no offence during this period.

 He took into consideration the other charge.

‘If he re-offends in the three years and he comes before me I will have no hesitation in activating his sentence as this is his third suspended sentence,’ the judge added.

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