A MAN who committed a total of 24 offences has escaped imprisonment at Carrickmacross District Court on the basis that he receive treatment for a severe drink problem.
Francis Hughes (20), 80 Bree, Castleblayney commited a slew of offences including assault, burglary, posession of drugs, unlawful taking a vehicle, dangerous driving and a host of Public Order offences.
The court how on 2 April a Gardaí car had to swerve to avoid hitting a vehicle that Hughes had taken.
Hughes then took off a speed and drove erratically along the N2, forcing a number of motorists to take evasive action to avoid him. He then took the vehicle down a narrow country road at speeds in excess of 75km per hour.
On 15 April 2011 Hughes assaulted a Mr Paul Flanaghan at Shenanigans Bar in Castleblayney following a drunken row. His victim on this occasion suffered a cut to the back of the head.
On 20 June Hughes did over €1300 damage to a flat which was owned by a nun, a Sister Aileen, at St Patrick’s Flats, Market Square, Castleblayney. This damage was done when a party went out of control and the man renting the flat pressed charged.
On 9 July 2011 Hughes entered the Shenanigans Bar by kicking the door in in the early hours of the morning, and damaged a till and took a quantity of cash.
Later the bar was secured by the owner, after which time Hughes forced entry into the bar again. In the course of both attacks he did over €600 worth of damage and took €275 worth of cash from the till.
On 25 July he did over €500 worth of damage to a mobile home owned by Chris Haren, a local businessman in Castleblayney who manages Hope Castle.
He was also arrested on numerous occasions for Public Order offences.
After what he described as a “forest of charges”, Judge Sean MacBride said that “underneath it all” the 6’3 Hughes was “a gentle person”, on whom drink had had a devastating effect. The court heard that Hughes had been turned away from a substance abuse clinic in Sligo because of outstanding charges.
Judge MacBride said in the interest of victims he should not be jailed, and instead ordered him to pay a total of over €4000 in compensation to his many victims. He also gave him two concurrent suspended sentences of 12 months, 200 hours of community service and made it a condition that he receive treatment for his alcohol addiction.