AN 18-year-old man was branded an ‘eejit’ after he stole tyres and abused a garda less than six months after he was given a three-year suspended prison sentence.
In February, Jake Smyth of Stonehall, Foxford, had walked free from Castlebar Circuit Circuit, after he was given a suspended sentence on the condition he keeps the peace for five years.
However, last week he was again before Judge Tony Hunt and faced the prospect of serving the three-year sentence after he was convicted of two public order offences and of stealing two tyres.
After hearing what Mr Smyth had done, Judge Hunt asked ‘what kind of an eejit is he?’ However, the judge chose not to invoke the prison sentence after he heard Jake Smyth has severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was to undergo treatment for an alcohol problem and was expecting to become a father in the New Year.
The court had heard from Garda Derek Healy from Ballyshannon District Court who explained that Mr Smyth had verbally abused him in the summer while he was dealing with his friend. He said he was intoxicated at the time.
a bad fit
Garda Robert Hennigan explained that on July 4, 2011, Mr Smyth had stolen a wheel of a car to replace his own, which was damaged. The wheel did not fit, however, and he threw it into a nearby carpark. Mr Smyth then stole an alloy wheel from Reape’s Garage in Foxford. When he discovered that this wheel also did not fit his car, he used ‘the conventional method of using his spare tyre’.
Judge Hunt asked why he should not go straight to prison because he felt he was ‘making a mockery of the whole thing’.
The defendants mother, Nora Smyth, told the court that she accepted that her son got a chance for what he did in February and did not condone his actions. She said his behaviour had been problematic since he was a young child, but despite a number of assessments he was not diagnosed with ADHD until he was 16 years old.
Judge Hunt said he was tempted to remand Mr Smyth in custody for a week to ‘wake him up’ but decided against it. He sentenced him to 90 hours community service in lieu of nine months imprisonment for stealing the tyres, but warned Mr Smyth if he stepped out of line again he would be serve the three years.