herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Mother looked on in fear as drunk tried to enter her home

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA

A woman and her daughter watched in fear as a drunk tried to open their front door, a court was told.

Vincent Shortt (44), a chronic alcoholic, had got into their car before attempting to enter the house.

The court heard he had been drinking vodka before the incident and had "very little re- collection" of it.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service instead of five months in jail.

Shortt, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to trespass causing fear and interfering with a car on July 23.

Gda Gabriel Murphy told Dublin District Court it was reported that a man was in the driveway of a house in Templeogue Wood at 4.35pm.

There was a car in the driveway and the accused tried the door of the vehicle before opening it and getting into the driver's seat.

While in the car, he interfered with it, causing minor damage, the court heard.

The woman was watching from her window as Shortt, originally from Crumlin, app-roached the house.

He tried to open the front door, but it was locked.

The victim and her daughter were both "extremely frightened", the court was told.

Shortt returned to the car, before leaving the driveway.

Abusive

When gardai arrived, he was still in the housing estate. He was intoxicated and abusive to them.

Shortt was arrested, but made no reply to the charges when cautioned, Gda Murphy said.

The accused had a different demeanour and was a "very pleasant man" when sober, his solicitor told the court.

He had apologised the next day and indicated early on that he was going to plead guilty.

"It must have been a very frightening experience for the people in the house," Judge Bryan Smyth said.

Shortt had 28 previous convictions for offences including theft and breach of the peace, but this was "by far the most serious", his solicitor said.

He had no prior convictions for trespass or interfering with a vehicle.

Shortt was a chronic alcoholic, was homeless and had been going through a "bad patch".

He had been drinking vodka on the day of the incident and had very little recollection of what had happened.

He was now taking daily medication to help him stop drinking.

Judge Smyth imposed the community service order on the trespass charge and said he took the other into consideration.

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