AN ON-OFF relationship between two people with alcohol problems was described as ‘toxic’ at last week’s sitting of Westport District Court.
Judge Mary Devins dismissed the charge of trespassing against Albert Costello of Derrycoosh, Castlebar, following a complaint by his former partner Maria Heston-Corcoran, who found him sleeping in her house in Westport.
Mr Costello had denied the trespassing charge, saying that he had been given a key to the home and had stayed with her both before and after the incident.
The court heard that Mr Costello had been given ‘a hiding over the weekend’, and when asked by Judge Devins what had happened, Mr Costello explained that Ms Heston-Corcoran’s new boyfriend had become angry when he would not share alcohol. When it was put to Mr Costello by Supt Aiden Foley that he was ‘besotted’ with her, he replied ‘I like her a lot’.
Mr James Ward, solicitor for Mr Costello, described the relationship between the pair as ‘toxic’ and said they were not good for each other. He said they were constantly drinking together and that he had seen Ms Heston-Corcoran drinking in the street in Westport. He added that best thing they could do was to stay away from each other.
The incident occurred on August 24 last. Ms Heston-Corcoran explained that she was in Westport and had accused Mr Costello of following her around town. After he left, she got a taxi home but found Mr Costello asleep on a chair in her living room. She said she thought he was still drunk and might wake up, and that she was scared and so called the Gardaí.
Under questioning by Mr Ward, Ms Heston-Corcoran said she had no problem with Mr Costello being in the house as long as she was there and not when he was ‘totally drunk’. Mr Ward accused her of making the complaint against his client ‘on a whim’ because he had been irritating her on the day.
Mr Costello said he stayed in the house the night before and said he had not ‘just turned up on the street’, adding that he had walked her into town that day. When asked by Supt Foley if Ms Heston-Corcoran was afraid of him, he replied she was from ‘time to time’ but that it was ‘beside the point’.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Devins agreed with Mr Ward’s description of the relationship as toxic, and she decided to dismiss the case.