Sunday 19 November 2017

Smeared faeces on wall of cell after arrest

A JUDGE has told a man who smeared his faeces on the walls of a cell in Wexford Garda Station that he wished he would have had to clean up his own dirt.

Peter 'PJ' Bennett (43), of Blackstone, Duncormick, appeared before Wexford District Court on Monday charged with public order offences arising out of an incident at Kilmore and causing criminal damage at Wexford Garda Station.

His son, Thomas Bennett (19) of Blackstone, Duncormick, also faced public order charges arising out of the incident in Kilmore.

Both pleaded guilty to their respective offences and Inspector Pat Mcdonald told Judge William Earley that the Gardai were called to a disturbance outside Mary's Bar in Kilmore at 1.50 a.m. on December 31 last.

He said that both PJ and Thomas Bennett were very drunk and that PJ was injured and aggressive. His son was also aggressive and the Gardai had to use pepper spray to subdue both men so they could be arrested.

They were brought to Wexford Garda Station where PJ Bennett smeared faeces on the cell walls. Inspector Mcdonald said it cost the Gardai €200 to have the cell cleaned.

The court heard that both PJ and Thomas Bennett have previous convictions and that PJ'S past convictions include criminal damage.

Nigel Allen, for the Bennetts, said that Thomas, who lives at home and is not working, had about six bottles of alcohol to drink that night.

Mr Allen said PJ Bennett was the victim of an alleged assault that night, which is being investigated by the Gardai. He added that the alleged perpetrator is well-known to the Gardai.

Mr Allen said this alleged assault ' goes towards explaining his very agitated state of mind'. He said that PJ was knocked out cold by the blow and has ' little recollection' of what happened after he was arrested. Mr Allen apologised to the Garda on his client's behalf.

Mr Allen said that PJ has a number of children, but only one, aged 10, is dependant on him. He is unemployed.

He said that his client brought €200 to court with him to compensate the Gardai for the clean-up required in the cell.

Judge Earley said that if he hadn't brought that compensation to court he would have considered sending him to jail.

'I wish Mr Bennett could have cleaned up his own dirt, that would have been more appropriate,' said Judge Earley. As well as the compensation, PJ Bennett was also fined €300 for the criminal damage and a further €120 for being drunk in public. Thomas Bennett was fined €120 for being drunk in public.

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