A BELFAST man appeared before two Mayo courts last week, first for the charge of entering a property with an intent to commit an offence, and later in the week, for the charges of threatening and abusive behaviour and illegal fishing.
On Wednesday last, Belfast resident John Beales, formerly of 5 Garuma Court, Foxford, admitted to attempting to take an old sink and scrap from outside a house being renovated in Belmullet. He claimed that he thought the items had been dumped.
Inspector Joe McKenna explained that the offence took place on February 29, 2012, when Geraldine Brown of Chapel Road, Belmullet, returned home from lunch at 1.10pm and observed Mr Beales attempt to load a double-drainer sink into a van. When she explained that she was the owner, he returned the sink and other items before leaving.
Mr Beales was living in Foxford at the time and was later arrested by gardaí, and he admitted the offence during questioning and was charged.
Insp McKenna said that one of the items taken was slightly damaged as it was bent in order to fit in his van, and that the value of the property was €120.
The court was told that while Mr Beales has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction, he has 68 previous convictions in the North and in England, including assaulting a police officer, possession of fireworks, possession of drugs and theft.
Judge Denis McLoughlin said he would not consider a term of imprisonment and fined Mr Beales €100.
In court again
The following Friday, the Belfast man was back in a Mayo court. This time he appeared in front of Judge Mary Devins in Swinford District Court on two charges – one of threatening and abusive behaviour and the other for illegal fishing.
The court heard that on February 17, 2012, Mr Beales entered Mount Falcon House Hotel, Ballina, and threatened hotel owner Shane Maloney when he was refused a season ticket to fish the waters of the River Moy which run through the hotels 100 acre estate. When Mr Maloney explained the licences were only given to residents of the hotel and tourists, Mr Beales said ‘f**k you, I’m going to fish the waters anyway’.
Maloney said Mr Beales had previously used ‘paramilitary threats’ towards people fishing the river. “He’s straight in your face. He’s a very aggressive individual. It’s neanderthal behaviour,” said Mr Maloney.
Giving evidence against Mr Beales on the illegal fishing charge, Fisheries Officer Edward Doherty said he gave chase to Beales who he believed to be fishing in the Cloongee area of Foxford. Mr Doherty told the court that Mr Beales attempted to throw his fishing rod in the river.
On asking for Beales’ permit and licence, Mr Doherty said Mr Beales pushed his head against his in a ‘very aggressive manner’, pushed him and refused to show him his licence, before swearing at him and asked him to fight him in the car park.
Mr Beales told the court he was on his way to fish Lough Cullen and that he threw away his rod as the Fisheries Officer was ‘going to take it away anyway’.
Judge Devins adjourned sentencing on both charges until January 10, 2014, and stated that Mr Beales was ‘not to set foot in Mayo’ during that time.