Judge queries whether man's 'I love you' comment to his mother was 'for my benefit?'

Judge queries whether man's 'I love you' comment to his mother was 'for my benefit?'
Judge Olann Kelleher queried whether the defendant's comment to his mother was "for my benefit?" File picture: Dan Linehan

A young man who put his mother in fear in her own home told her "I love you" as he passed her on his way to the witness box at his sentencing - but the judge asked, “was that for my benefit?” 

The defendant’s mother said she was afraid of her son when he was drinking and that at least when he was in jail she knew where he was.

Solicitor Diarmuid Kelleher was addressing Judge Olann Kelleher in mitigation when the accused indicated that he wanted to address the judge directly. 

On his way from the custody area he turned to his mother at the in-camera hearing and said “I love you.” Judge Kelleher asked if that had been said for his benefit. 

Before the accused could answer, the judge said: “You are not behaving like someone who loves his mother.” 

The defendant said: “I am crying out for help. I am trying my best to get into rehab. My mom knows that.” 

The judge wondered how serious the accused man was about rehabilitating when he turned up a few days ago for assessment at a rehabilitation centre only to be refused because he had drugs in his system.

Judge Kelleher said: “For five years you are telling the court you are trying to get help but you did not spend one single night in rehab yet. It doesn’t take five years to get in.” 

The judge remanded the accused in custody until the remand court sitting of Cork District Court on August 5 for the accused to make arrangements from prison to get into rehabilitation or to be sentenced that day for putting his mother in fear.

Inspector Jason Lynch said that on June 4 the defendant’s mother returned home to find her son, who is aged around 30, in the house having been drinking all day and with signs of having smoked cannabis.

“She knew from previous experience he could be volatile,” Insp Lynch said.

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