A LISTOWEL man who, a court heard, told gardaí to hang themselves and called them scum - just three months after receiving a suspended jail sentence - risks being jailed this week when he appears in front of the judge who handed down the original sentence.
On February 2 last, Thomas McElligott of 37 Lartigue Village, Listowel, received a three month jail sentence which was suspended on condition he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of 14 months. At Listowel District Court on Wednesday, however, details were heard of an incident on May 19, when the defendant - who has 36 previous convictions - verbally abused gardaí after being arrested.
Judge John O'Neill, filling in for his colleague Judge Mary O'Halloran, said he would have to adjourn the case until this Thursday when Judge O'Halloran returns. She will ultimately decide whether or not to activate the three month sentence she originally imposed.
At Wednesday's sitting, Superintendent Michael Fitzpatrick said that gardaí were on patrol on William Street at 2.14am when Mr McElligott intervened in a conversation between them and another individual. He was shouting: "don't be talking to the shades" before telling the other man: '"you're a f **king rat, talking to the shades."
The court was told that Mr McElligott was asked to leave the area and refused and made a hand gesture at gardaí and was arrested.
At the station, Mr McElligott was verbally abusive towards the gardaí, calling them scum and telling them : "f ** king hang yourselves."
Judge O'Neill refused a request by Mr McElligott's solicitor to adjourn the case until October - because the defendant had ' the promise of a few days work' - saying that the matter would be dealt with by Judge O'Halloran at the earliest date, which is this Thursday, September 13.