‘Lock me up, I won’t do community service’

Cork District Court

A teenager who caused a ruckus at a hospital was given an option of doing community service instead of going to jail. But declaring “f*** that”, he said he would not do community work.

The 19-year-old, who had no previous convictions, was jailed instead for two months yesterday at Cork District Court.

Stephen Faulkner of 7 Ardmore Tce, Ballybeg, Waterford, got himself in trouble in court yesterday, even before his own case was heard. He shouted comments at a prisoner who appeared in the custody dock at Courtroom 1 of the Anglesea St courthouse in Cork.

Judge Olann Kelleher directed the teenager would be removed from the courtroom until his own case was ready to be heard. The judge said he heard Faulkner shouting something at the prisoner but could not make out what had been shouted.

When Faulkner came back into the courtroom to plead guilty to the charges against him, Judge Kelleher first wanted to know what his problem was with the other defendant. Faulkner replied: “We have a beef with each other… we have trouble with each other.”

Faulkner, meanwhile, admitted that on January 20 he was drunk and a danger and engaged in threatening behaviour at the Mercy Hospital.

Sergeant Ann Marie Twomey said Faulkner became threatening with hospital staff and had to be restrained by security staff. He was still abusive and shouting threats at security staff after the arrival of gardaí.

“He was arrested and taken to the Bridewell garda station. He has no previous convictions,” said Sgt Twomey.

Solicitor Joseph Cuddigan said: “There are three matters in his favour: he is pleading guilty, he is only 19, and he has no previous convictions.” Mr Cuddigan acknowledged that because of the location of the public order behaviour, the defendant was at risk of prison.

Judge Kelleher said: “He is at risk of prison. He threatens people in court and threatens staff at the Mercy.

“Do you want to do community service to avoid jail,” the judge asked the accused.

Faulkner stated: “I will do jail. You can lock me up. I’m not doing community service. F*** that.”

Mr Cuddigan said the defendant would not be appealing the sentence.

As he was being taken into custody the young man whistled and laughed.

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