A DISTRICT court judge told a Clonakilty man who was armed with a slash hook and a hunting knife that it wasn’t ‘the Wild West’ after he convicted him of breaking windows at two properties, as well as possession of the two weapons.
Judge James McNulty made the remark at Clonakilty District Court while dealing with the case of Leigh Creighton (33) of Springmount, Clonakilty who pleaded guilty to numerous offences arising from two separate dates.
The court heard that at 1.15am on July 21st last Gda Dara Ó Sé and Gda Elaine O’Sullivan received a report of a male breaking windows at an address at Parkview, Clonakilty.
‘While on their way to that address they received another report of damage to a house at Convent Way and went there first and noticed a window broken,’ said Sgt Paul Kelly.
‘The woman living there told them that a male had caused the damage and walked off. The gardaí later met Mr Creighton on Larkin Street. He had a slash hook in his hand which he handed over to them.’
Mr Creighton was arrested and brought to Clonakilty Garda Station where gardaí also found a four-inch blade in his possession.
Sgt Kelly said that a second incident took place at 11.45pm on November 16th last on Pearse Street where the defendant was observed by two gardaí urinating in the doorway of Twomey’s Butcher.
‘They spoke to him, directing him to leave the area and he walked into a bar. He came out again and walked across the road, becoming aggressive to the gardaí and he called them “pussies”,’ said the sergeant.
The court heard that he was on bail at the time of the offences and has 10 previous convictions, including two for assault and five for public order.
Solicitor Colette McCarthy said her client, who lives on his own in a mobile home outside Clonakilty, was a victim of an assault by three men on July 21st last which was captured on CTTV and is the subject of a garda investigation.
‘He had gone home after the assault and it was only when he saw his face and the cuts in the mirror that he decided to go back into town and go to the homes of the men he accused of assaulting him,’ said Ms McCarthy.
She told Judge McNulty that Mr Creighton left school after sixth class and has a number of difficulties.
Judge McNulty said: ‘This is Clonakilty on a July night and it’s not the Wild West.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that he was assaulted. However, his offending is escalating and sadly it’s time to go away,’ said Judge McNulty.
He sentenced him to four months in prison on each of the criminal damage charges and two months on the more serious public order charge, all to be served together. He directed Mr Creighton to place himself under the supervision of the probation services for one year.
Judge McNulty convicted him of the possession of both a slash hook and a hunting knife, but deferred penalty until July 4th, while he sentenced him to two months in prison on the public order charge from November 16th, which will be served after the four-month sentence.
He directed that a probation report be prepared on the defendant which is also to include a community service order assessment.
Recognisances in the event of an appeal were fixed in the defendant’s own bond of €100 which is to include one independent surety of €900, with a third of that to be provided in cash.
Judge McNulty also said that surety would have to be approved by him and that the person must be of good character. ‘His sentences could be increased in the circuit court given his record,’ he added.
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