Jilted lover jailed over attack on the wrong house
A JILTED boyfriend has been jailed for 10 months for painting obscene graffiti on the walls of the house where he thought his ex-girlfriend was living.
When Michael Kelly (24), of Auburn Avenue, Mullingar, painted 'slut, whore, c**t' on the walls of a house in Mullingar's Beechfield estate this summer, he thought he was getting back at the girlfriend who refused to make up with him, Mullingar District Court heard yesterday.
But the house belonged to a completely innocent victim, Mary McWeeney, who had no connection with Kelly or his former girlfriend.
Judge Seamus Hughes said he couldn't imagine what it must have been like for her to live with the mortification of waking up each morning to the damage created by Kelly, which totalled €3,500.
"Some of her neighbours may have been under the mistaken impression that the daubing of obnoxious terms may have had some basis in credibility," he said.
Ms McWeeney said she remained terrified and couldn't sleep at night in the home she shared with her 19-year-old son.
She said it would take time to get over the shame of "all that stuff he wrote" and she still felt angry and upset.
Over eight weeks between June and August, Kelly targeted her home five times, slashing car tyres, breaking car windows, pouring red paint all over the car and throwing a rock through her window.
Kelly admitted five charges of causing criminal damage. His ex-girlfriend, who wasn't named in court, knew nothing of the damage, Kelly said.
Solicitor Louis Kiernan said the break-up led his client back to an alcohol addiction he had previously recovered from.
A former painter who hasn't worked in two years, Kelly committed the "payback" offences when his mind was "addled" by a cocktail of alcohol and valium, Mr Kiernan said.
He said that Kelly wanted to apologise profusely to Ms McWeeney, who was "completely and utterly blameless".
The judge imposed a 10-month concurrent sentence on each of the five charges of criminal damage when Kelly was unable to offer his victim compensation.
He also activated an 11-month suspended sentence for drugs offences, bringing Kelly's total time behind bars to 21 months.