A 39-year-old man who kicked in the door of a house had the case against him dismissed yesterday when the judge said it would have been better to have charged him with criminal damage rather than burglary.
The same defendant also contested a case where he was caught with a weapon which fitted into the fist with sharp points on either end.
Judge Con O’Leary agreed again with defence solicitor Charles O’Connor in that case when Mr O’Connor submitted that the defendant had not been told on what grounds he was being stopped for a search.
Judge O’Leary said after the two cases that if there was nothing else keeping the accused man Jason O’Callaghan in custody then he was free to go.
O’Callaghan of Cork Simon Community was arrested after he was seen on CCTV kicking in the front door of 8 Coppergate House at Anglesea Terrace, Cork, at 7pm on May 5 causing €160 worth of damage as the door had to be replaced.
The owner of the property got a report from a resident at the house that someone was kicking in the front door. The owner could see from CCTV in his own house that a man was kicking in the front door and he called gardaí. Less than an hour later, Jason O’Callaghan was arrested and charged with burglary whereby he trespassed at the property to commit an offence.
Mr O’Connor, solicitor, said, “It is accepted he kicked it in.”
The solicitor said there was no evidence that he intended to commit criminal damage when he trespassed.
Inspector Denis Lynch said the accused could have entered with the intention of causing criminal damage, stealing or assaulting someone. “The state cannot put in every arrestable offence he might have been intending after trespassing,” the Inspector said.
Judge O’Leary said, “It might have been more appropriate if he was charged with causing criminal damage.” The judge then dismissed the burglary charge.
Judge O’Leary dismissed a charge against the same defendant for carrying a weapon at Mardyke Walk on June 20.
The judge was told at Cork District Court yesterday that the weapon would have done a lot of damage if slashed across someone’s face.
Insp. Lynch said the gardaí stopped him for a search because of a smell of cannabis and their suspicions that O’Callaghan might be carrying a drug.
Judge O’Leary agreed again to dismiss the charge on the application of Mr O’Connor, solicitor. The judge said, “I don’t think the guards are entitled to stop people without grounds for doing so.” The judge added that the guard needed to identify the statutory basis for stopping a person and he dismissed the charge of carrying a weapon.