A Castlebar man with mental-health issues who broke into his former partner’s home while she was taking a shower was told to cut down on his alcohol consumption or face up to two years in jail.
Albert Costello (33) of Derrycoosh, Castlebar, appeared before last week’s sitting of Westport District Court, where he pleaded guilty to the criminal damage of a house window and door handles on a garda patrol car.
The court heard how on August 18 last at 7.20am, Gardaí received a report from a woman that her window had been broken in the house in Ashwood Glade, Westport. When gardaí spoke to the woman, she identified the man, who had fled the scene, as Albert Costello.
Gardaí searched the area but failed to locate him but when they returned they found Mr Costello had also returned and was in an upstairs bedroom. Inspector Joe McKenna explained that Mr Costello had let himself into the house through the broken window. The complainant said she heard footsteps coming up the stairs when she was having a shower.
Mr Costello was arrested. Insp McKenna reported that he broke two rear-door handles of the patrol car through ‘brute strength’.
Earlier the court heard that Mr Costello was arrested on April 9, 2011 after gardaí received a complaint from a father who said that a couple were having sex in the Leisure Centre carpark on James Street, Westport at 3.15pm.
Garda Michelle Sweeney said she went to the carpark and noticed Mr Costello appear behind a car and said the buttons on his jeans appeared undone. She said he appeared extremely intoxicated and was arrested. He asked Garda Sweeney ‘Did she make a complaint?’. Garda Sweeney said the female was not in the area at the time and she arrested Mr Costello but the charge was dismissed on a technicality.
Mr James Warde, solicitor for the defendant said that while his client was living independently he was under the support of the Western Care Association and had an alcohol problem. He said his underlying problems were exacerbated by alcohol and the last thing his client could do was to go into custody.
Mr Costello said he was still drinking but was seeing an addiction counsellor and apologised for what he did. When he asked Judge Mary Devins how long he could go to jail for, she replied she had not decided but he could face a maximum of two years.
Judge Devins said she would not sentence Mr Costello until next January to see how he behaves and told him to cut down on the amount of alcohol he takes or else he could go to prison. She adjourned sentencing until January 5, 2012 but gave Gardaí liberty to re-enter with 24 hours notice.