Woman (19) caused €4,400 of damage in Cootehill
A woman, who together with a co-accused and a juvenile caused €4,400 worth of damage to cars and premises on a week night in Cootehill, appeared before Judge Patrick Clyne at Cootehill District Court last week. Anne King (19), 60 Drumnaveil, Cootehill was given six month's detention, with all but the first 15 minutes suspended for two years subject to her entering a peace bond for two years with the conditions that she remain alcohol-free at all times and comply with the Probation and Welfare Service during that period. For an assault on Kia Ross on the same night, Judge Clyne ordered that the defendant do 200 hours community service in lieu of four month's detention, if she is deemed suitable for it by the Probation and Welfare Service. Judge Clyne questioned whether he should accept jurisdiction in the case because of the amount of damage involved, but agreed to do so, following a submission from the defendant's solicitor, John Quigley, and agreement from Inspector Raymond McMahon. The inspector told the court that on the night of April 1 and 2, this year, a Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning, the defendant and two others "for no apparent reason", damaged eight cars in Church Street and Market Street and two premises - €400 worth of damage to the window of McGurk's Butchers and €2,000 worth of damage to a large shop window owned by Alan Latimer. There was a female occupant in one of the cars and when she confronted the defendant, Ms. King "thumped her in the face". Mr. Quigley told the court that his client "accepts that she has a difficulty with drink", "drank too much" on the night of the offences and apologises for her behaviour. When the judge expressed an intention of imposing a custodial sentence, Mr. Quigley suggested that his client could be seen to repay the community publically through community service. "I think the people of Cootehill, if they saw her sent away, that would be payment enough for them," said Judge Clyne, who also enquired about the defendant's occupation status. "Did she ever get off her backside and apply for a job?" asked the judge, who was unconvinced when told by Mr. Quigley that as a 19-year-old his client has had little opportunity to work because of the depressed economy. Judge Clyne recounted how on a recent stop-off at his filling station there were eight non-nationals working. "There they were at midnight, beavering away and not one of them Irish," he said. He presented a counter-argument to the solicitor about Ms. King. "This person, who hasn't paid a penny into the economy... but is taking from it," said the judge. "That's what is causing the downturn in the economy." "The people of Cootehill don't want to put up with this crap. She is the one at fault," he continued before adjourning for a few minutes to consider his order. After returning and making the order, he commented that were it not for Mr. Quigley's submissions about his client's troubled background, the defendant "would have left her in handcuffs". "I don't care what her needs are, she'll have to occupy herself with community service..." he concluded. "And get a job." Ms. King was convicted on charges of criminal damage to the two shop windows, as well as damage ranging from €200-€400 each on the windows or mirrors of cars belonging to David Jordan, Michael Faye, Luciza Lapere, Grainne McArville, Fen Lui, Adam Jiang, Kia Ross, Pearlena McCaffrey, all in the Market Street, Church Street and Fairgreen areas of Cootehill. She was also convicted of assaulting Kia Ross in Market Street on the night. Public order offences, on October 18 last year, and an assault on John Ellis, as well as further public order offences on April 27 last year were taken into consideration.