A mother of eight who contested two public order charges outside the emergency accommodation her family was placed in after their home was petrol-bombed, has been sentenced to two months imprisonment at Dundalk district court.
Amanda Quilton with an address at Oakland Park, Cox’s Demesne, Dundalk, had denied being intoxicated in public and using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour outside her home on August 27th last.
The investigating garda told the court he was a passenger in a garda vehicle that was driving on the Ecco Road at 12.55am, when he saw the defendant.
She was two or three feet onto the footpath and shouted at them calling them “a pack of faggots”, as they drove by.
She had returned onto her property when he approached her.
He insisted the offence had occurred ‘in a public place’ and told how Ms Quilton was standing in front of the boundary wall at the time.
The defendant gave evidence that her home had been petrol-bombed the previous Sunday night and on the night in question she had been sitting on a chair in the front garden.
She said she told the gardai ‘I need to protect this house. I’ll sit here all night if I have to’.
The Defence barrister argued that there was a conflict in the evidence and it comes down to a ‘He said, she said’ scenario.
However, Judge Eirinn McKiernan said she accepted the garda evidence and convicted the defendant.
The court heard the defendant had 24 previous convictions including a four-month suspended sentence last March for criminal damage.
The barrister said his client is a mother of eight with three dependent children and she was very traumatised at the time as a result of the petrol bombing.
Judge McKiernan imposed a two-month sentence for using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and took the intoxication charge into consideration.
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