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Jail for man 'driven man' by party pill

A YOUNG man who was "driven mad" by party pills he bought in a headshop when he attacked a man with a hurley has been jailed for six months.

Clive Griffin struck the victim on the wrist with the hurley in a crazed episode brought on by 'legal high' drugs.

Judge Murrough Connellan sentenced him after remarking that it was the second offence he had blamed on party pills.

Griffin (21) of Hawthorn Drive, Rathdrum, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and producing a weapon in the course of a dispute.

The offences happened in an incident at Main Street, Rathdrum on March 20 last year.

Wicklow District Court heard gardai went to the scene at 10.10pm following a complaint.

On arrival, victim Kevin Cosgrave told him he had been struck on the wrist with a hurley. The accused was identified and arrested.

When interviewed, Griffin admitted what had happened, saying he had armed himself with the hurley for his own protection.

He had hit Mr Cosgrave on the wrist and chased a group of youths up the road.

Griffin had five previous convictions and his record included public order offences. The court heard he had previously pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a shop front in a separate incident. He had promised to bring €477 compensation to court but had not got it yet.

He failed to appear in court on one occasion because he was sick and on another because he "slept it out".

Explaining the assault, his lawyer said: "He went to a headshop, took party pills and they drove him mad. There is no excuse for what he did, he has no addictions and he is extremely remorseful for his actions."

Judge Connellan remarked that the defendent maintained he was taking party pills that drove him mad on two occasions, five months apart. He said sleeping it out "wasn't much of an excuse" for not appearing in court.