herald

Monday 27 March 2017

Judge tells 'aggressive' man to take his medication

John Garfield
John Garfield

A homeless man waved his fists at gardai when they came to remove him from a hostel for being aggressive towards staff, a court heard.

John Garfield (52) was arr- ested over two disturbances he caused at the same inner-city hostel, in which he also hurled abuse at other residents and passers-by.

Judge Alan Mitchell gave him a two-month suspended sentence and told him he must continue taking prescribed medication.

Garfield pleaded guilty to public intoxication and using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour to cause a breach of the peace.

Dublin District Court heard the first incident happened at the Back Lane hostel in Dublin 8 last June 12. The accused was staying there and, at 12pm, he became aggressive and threatening towards staff.

Gardai were called and told him to leave. Outside, he became abusive again to staff, members of the public and other residents.

He was very intoxicated and was arrested.

Convictions

In the second incident, last November 26, gardai were again called to the hostel, this time at 11.50pm.

They met staff, who said the accused had been extremely aggressive.

He began shouting abuse at the gardai and waving his fists in front of them, the court was told. He was given an opportunity to stop and failed to do so, a garda said.

The accused had 12 previous convictions, the most recent of which was in 2005.

Garfield had been in Back Lane for a year-and-a-half without incident, his solicitor Ciara Hallinan said.

He had stopped taking his medication around the time of the incidents.

Judge Mitchell said a probation report on the accused was positive.

He suspended the sentence for a year on one of the breach of the peace charges and took the rest into consideration.

Under the suspension, Garfield must keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

The judge said he must also take all prescribed medication.

"Because if he doesn't, it's more than likely that he will commit more offences," he added.

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