A teenager was challenged by a garda about the “essential journey” that took him beyond the five-kilometre limit during a Covid lockdown and he said it was to visit his girlfriend.
Matters got worse for Jake O’Donoghue of Leesdale, Model Farm Road, Cork, when he engaged further with Garda Colm Aherne.
The guard encountered him at 11.10pm on January 16 at Church Road, Carrigaline, County Cork, and asked him had he a reasonable explanation for travelling further than five kilometres on the night.
O’Donoghue said, “To see my girlfriend.” Sergeant Pat Lyons said at Cork District Court that Garda Aherne told the teenager this was not an essential journey.
At that, O’Donoghue said to Garda Aherne, “Go f*** yourself, you f***ing clown.”
Now at Cork District Court the teenager has pleaded guilty to the public order charge of engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said after the outline of the incident, “That is pretty much what happened. It was immature behaviour. There was a reaction to being told he should not be where he was.”
The defendant was arrested in order to be brought to court for sentencing as he failed to show up on a previous occasion. Mr Buttimer said there was some confusion on the defendant’s part.
Mr Buttimer said, “He is sorry for his behaviour. He has had a number of skirmishes with the guards but he is not a bad person.”
When the solicitor mentioned that his client was 18 years old the defendant spoke up to say he had just turned 19.
Judge Olann Kelleher told Jake O’Donoghue he was at risk of a three-month sentence on the charge. However, the judge said he would not impose the jail term on this occasion and he fined him €250.
“You cannot behave like that – being a smart Alec,” Judge Kelleher said to the 19-year-old.