Judge ‘absolutely staggered’ by number on medication appearing in court

A DISTRICT Court judge has described as “absolutely staggering” the number of people on prescribed medication appearing before the court in Cork — as he was dealing with a case of a man armed with half a hedge-clippers.

Brian Murphy, 21, of 119 Knockpogue Avenue, Farranree, Cork, was described as being on alcohol and prescription medication at the time he was caught on the street with the weapon concealed inside his T-shirt.

“The prevalence of people on prescribed medication is absolutely staggering,” Judge Con O’Leary said yesterday at Cork District Court.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer responded to the judge’s remarks: “I understand what you are saying in relation to prescribed medication. In this case Mr Murphy should not take alcohol when he is taking medication.”

Mr Buttimer said the defendant had a legitimate need for prescribed medication but did acknowledge that he had a drug problem that he was addressing.

Judge O’Leary jailed Murphy for three months for carrying the weapon and fined him €150 for being drunk at the time.

Garda Brian Henderson responded to a call from a family member of the defendant to say they were concerned about him as he had left home at 10.30pm on April 21 armed with what was originally described as a knife but turned out to be one half of a hedge-clippers.

A man fitting the description was seen in the Fairfield area five minutes later. It was Brian Murphy and he was arrested.

Asked on the night if he had any reason for having the weapon, he replied, “Yeah, I gets panic attacks. I’m on medication for it. I was paranoid.”

Garda Henderson said Murphy was fine initially in their dealings with him but he became a bit agitated afterwards.

Mr Buttimer said: “There is nothing to indicate the purpose for which he had this rather unusual object in his possession. He was quite intoxicated.”

The judge said there was a prospect of serious harm being done by the defendant if someone had upset him on the night.

A second €150 fine was imposed on Murphy for another incident where he was staggering around in a condition where he was drunk and a source of danger to himself or others.


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