Mum nearly sees two sons jailed
'I FIND IT HARD TO SEND SOMEONE TO JAIL'
A NORTH Kerry mother very nearly saw two of her sons jailed at Listowel District Court on Thursday where each were charged with a number of offences arising from separate incidents.
Paul Douglas, 1 Patrick's Court, Listowel, and his brother Owen Douglas, of the same address appeared before Judge Mary Larkin at Thursday's court.
Paul Douglas was charged with handling two stolen pint bottles of cider when he was found trespassing at John J Galvin's warehouse in Clieveragh, Listowel, on July 13 of last year. He was also charged with trespass and he faced another charge of being drunk and a danger to himself and others on September 8 last.
Paul Douglas was ultimately jailed for four months on the trespassing charge.
Meanwhile, Owen Douglas was charged with theft and with the unlawful possession of cannabis. On October 13 last, Detective Garda Paul Walsh saw him cycling through Listowel at 1.15am with a pillowcase that, on inspection, was found to be full of DVDs, computer games and a console.
Owen Douglas could not explain how he came by the goods. Gardaí received a report of stolen property the following day from a local woman who identified the items as those taken during the course of a break-in at her home.
The court heard that Paul Douglas (23) was apprehended by gardaí at John J Galvin's premises in Clieveragh when they responded to call out of a break-in in progress at 2.15am on the date. When they got to the premises they saw two people and gave chase. It was the clinking of bottles from an adjacent field that ultimately gave Mr Douglas away and he was arrested at 2.45am.
The court heard that he has 22 previous convictions and had been jailed for a number of offences, including assault and theft.
Solicitor Pat Enright said Paul Douglas had a chaotic background growing up. He had little memory of the night he was found with stolen property as he had been drinking and had consumed Valium tablets.
"The premises is a very large compound and it wouldn't be unusual for there to be drink outside between two buildings. Periodically you get people shimmying the fence looking for drink," Mr Enright explained.
"He seems fairly incorrigible," Judge Larkin said. "I'm a judge who finds it hard to send someone to jail and you can see that the last time he received seven months. Previous judges have had no trouble so there must be quite a history... I'm conscious of the fact that he is pleading today but also of the fact that a considerable amount of effort went into breaking into this premises; that it was shortly after he was released from jail and that he has no regard for the law of the land," Judge Larkin said.
She sentenced Paul Douglas to four months' jail for trespassing and a further week, to run concurrent, for handling stolen property. He was fined €300 for being drunk in public.
The court heard Owen Douglas has 39 previous convictions and received an 18-month prison sentence that was suspended for two years at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court on March 8 of 2011. His case was put back to allow the court time to ascertain the full details of this suspended sentence. Judge Larkin warned him: "You are very close to having me remand you in custody."