“You are either going to end up dead or in prison if you continue the way you are going.”
That was the stark warning from Judge Catherine Staines to Warwick Freeman of Arderrin Way, The Glen, Cork, as he was being sentenced for assaulting a barman and causing criminal damage at The Local on Military Hill, Cork, on March 18 2022.
Defence barrister Paula McCarthy said: “It was a binge-drinking episode. He was told he was not being served and he over-reacted.”
Garda Kate Sheehan testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the accused pulled the tap off the counter and threw it across the counter at the barman. He also picked up a stool and threw that, causing extensive damage.
Judge Catherine Staines was told that the accused was the one who phoned 999 after getting calls from some friends about what he did.
Freeman said to the guards: “I think I am the man you are looking for.”
Ms McCarthy BL said: “It was a moment of madness. He met it very fairly. He admitted it was disgraceful.
“Previously, he had his own business. Unfortunately, that fell by the wayside. He does not have the means to compensate the pub for the damage.”
The barrister concluded by asking for a non-custodial sentence.
Judge Staines said the large amount of criminal damage was an aggravating factor in the case.
The judge also referred to 13 previous public order convictions which, she said, “are clearly alcohol related”.
Judge Staines imposed a one-year sentence for the criminal damage, a concurrent four months for assaulting the barman by throwing the beer tap at him, and she suspended the sentence on condition that he pays the €1,800 compensation within 12 months and attends a residential treatment programme for alcohol addiction – as directed by the probation service.
Turning directly to the accused, the judge said: “This is your opportunity now. You are either going to end up dead or in prison if you continue the way you are going.”