herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Father's day celebration costs drunk soldier €150

A SOLDIER arrested for drunkenly staggering in front of traffic while clutching a whiskey bottle had been out celebrating his first Father's Day, a court heard.

Bernard Fleming (32) "could have been knocked down" before gardai intervened.

Dublin District Court heard he shouted abuse at the officers who helped him, as well as motorists in the incident at a busy Dublin city centre junction.

He was left without a conviction after he admitted a public order charge at Dublin District Court and made a €150 charity donation.

Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out, remarking that a conviction could have a negative impact on his position in the armed forces.

Fleming, of Clifden Drive, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to public intoxication at Aston Quay last June 16.

The court heard gardai were on patrol at the junction with O'Connell Bridge when they saw the accused standing in the middle of the road in traffic. The lights were green and drivers were sounding their horns at him.

Fleming was shouting back at traffic, carrying a half-empty bottle of whiskey from which he was drinking.

He was slurring his words and swaying as gardai helped him to the footpath. He became abusive towards the officers and tried to push them away.

He was in "poor condition as a result of alcohol", a garda sergeant said. Fleming had no previous convictions.

"He could have been knocked down," Judge Walsh remarked.

The accused's recollecti on of events were clouded by alcohol, his solicitor said.

It was Father's Day and he had recently become a father for the first time. He had been out drinking with friends to celebrate.

He had been in the army for four years and was based at Cathal Brugha Barracks.

The outcome of the case could have "consequences for his disciplinary record", his solicitor added.

hnews@herald.ie

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