01 Jul 2022

Man who smashed up car with baseball bat had acted as an enforcer over drug debt

Man who smashed up car with baseball bat had acted as an enforcer over drug debt

A 24 year old man who Dundalk Circuit Court was told had acted as an enforcer over a drug debt, has had his sentencing adjourned so a Probation report can be prepared.

John Smith with an address at Doolargy Avenue, Muirhevnamor had pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a car belonging to the mother of a man who allegedly owed money.

The court heard the defendant - and another man, a co-accused who was acquitted by a jury at a trial, had called to an address in Muirhevnamor on December 21st 2014, to speak to the son of the woman who lived there with her partner about a drug debt, although it wasn't suggested that the money was owed to the co-accused.

The pair left after a verbal encounter with the woman's son, but they returned later armed with different implements - and witnesses described John Smith having a baseball bat or a stick.

The couple's cars were attacked and all the windows bar three were smashed.

The three witnesses identified John Smith as they knew him since he was a child.

The court heard over €1,200 worth of damage was caused to the woman's car, and her partner sold his - which was uninsured for €200 at an apparent loss of €300 based on the price a similar car was for sale on the Done Deal website.

When he was arrested, John Smith - who had denied any knowledge of the incident and insisted he was with his partner all day, and said the witnesses must've mistaken him for someone else

The Defence barrister said her client - who has been in custody since January last year, began offending at the age of 11 and a lot of his convictions where from when he was a troubled young teenager.

She added the accused had dabbled in heroin and things took a darker turn as he entered early adulthood. However she said he says he has turned a corner and realises he cannot blame others for his actions.

Judge Gerard O'Brien adjourned the case until October fourth for a Probation report.

He said if the accused was found suitable, he was recommending the sitting judge impose a six month sentence, suspended for a year on him being of good behaviour, being of sober habits - including alcohol and comply with an directions of the Probation Service.

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