People cannot take justice into their own hands, warns judge

September 7th, 2021 5:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Ian Curley was called an ‘angry and violent man.’ (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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A DISTRICT Court judge said that a man who smashed five window panes of glass at Mary Ann’s Bar and Restaurant in Castletownshend was not a ‘good customer.’

Judge Colm Roberts made the comment when sentencing Ian Curley to 10 months in prison for causing over €2,000 worth of damage in three separate incidents in the village on August 13th last at 2am.

Mr Curley (54) of James House, The Quay, Castletownshend appeared in custody at Clonakilty District Court last week. He pleaded guilty to damaging a Toyota Land Cruiser at The Lawns estate to the value of €1,050, as well as causing €639 worth of damage to Volkswagen Golf at Cross Street. He also caused €400 worth of damage to five window panes of glass at Mary Ann’s Bar and Restaurant.

In a plea of mitigation, Mr Curley’s solicitor Peter O’Flynn said his client has a long term history of depression and alcohol misuse.

The court heard that Mr Curley had engaged with the West Cork mental health services, but had disengaged with them as he felt he didn’t need them, and he had stopped taking his medication.

Mr O’Flynn, who handed in medical reports to Judge Roberts, said that his client had been out of trouble from 2018 to this year but the latest offences occurred after the death of his brother.

However, Judge Roberts said that from reading the reports, it seemed that it was ‘totally self-created.’

‘He has a mental health problem, not mental illness, and he’s doing drink and drugs which is leading to his dangerous and violent behaviour,’ said Judge Roberts.

‘I see smashing windows and peoples’ cars as an act of violence and the victims see it as an act of violence too, and they get upset by it.’

Mr O’Flynn said his client has had two weeks in custody to reflect on his actions and he handed a letter into court from Mr Curley’s supervisor on a CE scheme, who he said spoke of him in ‘glowing terms.’

However, Judge Roberts said the defendant wasn’t kind to the three victims.

‘He was an angry and violent man who decided to create his own retribution for being wronged. And it’s hardly a great way to respect the memory of his brother.’

Judge Roberts added that people could have been injured on the night in question and said Mr Curley doesn’t come across as ‘remorseful and doesn’t do himself any favours.’

‘He continues to feel that he’s the one who has been wronged and he sees himself as the victim,’ added Judge Roberts. He  sentenced him to four months for the incident on The Lawns, but suspended it for two years and directed that he be placed under the supervision of the Probation Services. He received a four-month custodial sentence for the criminal damage of a car on Cross Street.

Judge Roberts sentenced him to 10 months on the third charge of smashing windows at Mary Ann’s Bar and Restaurant, which he said was the ‘most violent and serious of all the charges.’ He suspended the last four months of this sentence for two years, which is subject to being under the supervision of the probation services in his own bond of €250. ‘He said he was a good customer of Mary Ann’s but that’s not how a good customer acts at 2am smashing windows,’ said Judge Roberts, who also said that they cannot allow people to think that they’re entitled to take justice into their own hands. Mr Curley also faces a number of other public order charges and will be back in court later this month.

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