Man gets community service over ‘stupid incident fuelled by drink’

June 29, 2017

A Judge sentenced a 33-year-old St Johnston man to 200 hours of community service, in lieu of a one-year prison sentence, over his part in what the Judge said was ‘a stupid incident fuelled by drink’.

Kevin Dowds, of Whitehill, St Johnston was before Letterkenny Circuit Court on charges of burglary and criminal damage arising out of an incident at the home of Amanda McDermott, at Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, on September 13, 2015.

Another man, co-accused along with Dowds over the incident, has elected to be trialled by jury.

Dowds pleady guilty to the charges before him.

Detective Garda Keogh said he visited the scene with Detective Garda McHale and uniformed officers, after reports that a number of men had arrived at the property and that windows and a door had been smashed.

Ms McDermott alleged that Dowds and his co-accused had kicked down the PVC door, which was lying in the hallway, and that Dowds had been ‘very aggressive’.

Photographs of the scene, where damage to the value of €670 was caused, were presented in court.

Ms McDermott’s sister told Gardai, on their arrival, that she had witnessed the attack on her sister’s house and identified the two men.

Dowds denied the allegations made by Ms McDermott but admitted to being at the scene when arrested.

Dowds told Gardai that he had been banging on the door as he thought his co-accused had been seriously injured. He said that they had been attacked by a number of men, but neither man made a report to the Gardai.

The front door had totally collapsed and Garda Keogh said ‘possibly a bin’ had been used in the incident that resulted in the window being broken.

There were allegations that McDermott’s partner and associates carried out an assault on Dowds’ co-accused. Dowds accompanied his co-accused to hospital for medical assistance following the incident.

“He is not happy with his conduct,” Barrister for Dowds, Damien Crawford BL, said.

“There was quite an amount of alcohol consumed. He attended the property with his friend, who got into difficulty with people at the house. He banged the window to such an extent that it was broken and the same with the door. He has realised that his demeanour was not what it could have been. His involvement in the matter is perhaps lesser. He is not proud of his behaviour. It was boorish and he shouldn’t have done it.”

Dowds has nine previous convictions for public order offences. He agreed that he had damaged the door and the window on the night in question and brought with him the sum of €670 by way of compensation for the damage inflicted.

Judge John O’Hagan said he was satisfied that Dowds was ‘not the main player in the piece’.

Judge O’Hagan said: “It must have been a very frightening experience for Ms McDermott to have her front door smashed in and the window broken. I am sure she was in quite the state. It was a stupid incident fuelled in some way by drink. Drink is no excuse for behaviour like this. He realises that it was stupid.”

He sentenced Dowds to 200 hours of community service.