Former addict wants a better life

A YOUNG man who pleaded guilty to 38 offences ranging from burglary to theft to public order offences told the court that he ‘realised that it was a key moment in his life’ adding that he wanted to turn his back on crime and pursue a career in the music industry.

A YOUNG man who pleaded guilty to 38 offences ranging from burglary to theft to public order offences told the court that he ‘realised that it was a key moment in his life’ adding that he wanted to turn his back on crime and pursue a career in the music industry.

Solicitor Michael Lanigan told the court that his client, who is currently in custody, has been drugs free for the previous nine weeks. Judge William Harnett remarked that ‘this is a renaissance of very recent origin’ adding that ‘he was like a jack rabbit before’.

William Fitzgerald, 67 Hebron Park pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal damage at St Johns Junior School, Michael Street; to criminal damage at Kilkenny Garda Station; to burglary at premises on Gashouse Lane, O’Loughlin Road and William Street and to burglary at the HSE building at St Canices; to theft at Dunnes Stores, to intent to carry out a burglary at a premises on Patrick Street and to two counts of unauthorised interference with a vehicle at Johnswell Road last October.

He also pleaded to entering a house at Lintown Avenue on October 7 with intent to commit an offence and to burglary at Barrack Street on the same date. He also admitted carrying out a burglary at a property on William Street on October 11 and to entering a building with intent to commit an offence at O’Loughlin Road on the same date. The defendant also admitted theft from McDonagh Junction on October 11, to being intoxicated in a public place at High Street on December 23, to criminal damage at Irishtown on October 10 and to burglary at the Johns Green Medical Centre on October 10. He also pleaded guilty to entering a building at Johnsgate on October 1 and possession of a crow bar and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour last October.

The 22-year-old also pleaded to criminal damage at three different premises on Kieran Street in January and to two counts of criminal damage at Hebron Park on January 30. He also admitted to counts of theft and criminal damage last April and to burglary at James Street last May.

Mr Lanigan said that he could see ‘a complete change’ in his client’s behaviour. “He is calm now,” he said. “He was like a jack rabbit before. The real issue is what he will do when he gets out,” the judge said.

Mr Lanigan told the court that his client was aware that he needs to have ‘a structure in place’ when he comes out. “He also knows that it will be an issue where he lives and has expressed a desire to get his Junior Cert. He realises that he is very much inhibited by the fact that he is an early school leaver and realises that this is a key moment in his life and that there are a lot of charges against him,” he said adding that his client hoped to do the Junior Cert and to pursue a career in music.

Judge Harnett sentenced him to 13 months in prison and suspended the final four months on condition tha the enter a bond to be of good behaviour for 17 months. “I wish him well. He is a young person and I hope that he takes every opportunity that he is given,” he said.