Sexist and homophobic insults were hurled at gardaí by a man involved in numerous disturbances in Cork city including one where he kept falling as he tried to go up an escalator going down.
James Sheehan, 32, pleaded guilty to these and other offences but appealed to Judge Colm Roberts not to jail him as he had just moved into an apartment on Boreenmanna Road and was working five days a week in a new job.
Judge Roberts said at Cork District Court that the behaviour was too nasty, too recent, and too persistent for there to be any outcome other than a jail term. He was jailed for a total of five months.
From reports on the accused, Judge Roberts said that there appeared to be background issues not being addressed by the accused causing him to feel a lot of anger.
On July 29, he was asleep in a taxi on St Patrick’s Street. Sergeant Pat Lyons said the accused lashed out and attempted to hit gardaí who managed to get him out of the taxi. He also tried to bite them and called the officers ‘tramp’ and ‘faggot’.
Judge Roberts said this abuse was both homophobic and threatening.
Shane Collins-Daly, defence solicitor, said: “He definitely has a serious alcohol problem. He has completed a three-month treatment programme in Tabor Lodge in February.”
Judge Roberts said: “That is all past tense now,” adding some of the offences were committed since he was in alcohol treatment.
Mr Collins-Daly said the defendant had a significant drink problem that developed into a heroin problem in recent years. “Clearly when he drinks he behaves very badly,” the solicitor said.
Mr Collins-Daly said the defendant got into what he described as a supported, sober-living house after his time in Tabor Lodge but that the accommodation was only temporary and he fell back into homelessness and addiction difficulties. Ultimately, he ended up in the psychiatric unit of a hospital.
Mr Collins-Daly said: “His record is appalling. His behaviour was appalling. He is a very different person sober.”
Against that, the judge said the behaviour was nasty.
“I really do apologise for that,” the defendant said.
Judge Roberts said: “He has an anger that is a danger to everyone. The bad behaviour is too recent and too persistent. You are asking me to consider a rehabilitative position. But there is also an element of punishment and prevention.
“Throwing bottles, shouting at people, threatening people. You have hurt a lot of people’s feelings. That has to stop.
"If you stopped after you went to Tabor Lodge the submissions from Mr Collins-Daly would have weight. But in the recent incident you called a guard a tramp and a faggot. That is nasty.”
The bottle-throwing referred to by the judge related to an incident outside The Poor Relation pub on Grand Parade when he was shouting at customers and throwing bottles on the ground.
In another incident, he got into a row with a woman at the shopping arcade at Cornmarket Street and was seen by gardaí falling down as he repeatedly tried to walk up the escalator which was going down.
James Sheehan, also known as James Quilligan, previously of Ravensdale Road in Mahon, and recently of Boreenmanna Road, pleaded guilty to all of the offences against him.
As he was being taken into custody, the defendant asked: “Is there any way I could do probation?”
Judge Roberts told the accused: “That boat has sailed, unfortunately.”