Dungannon man who smashed neighbour’s car had ‘drink on board’

Court image
Court image

A Dungannon man who caused more than £600 damage to his neighbour’s car in a drunken rage, has been warned by a Judge he was “on a very thin thread” towards being sent to prison for the offence.

Martin Joseph Groogan, 33, from Dunavon Park in the town, pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal damage which related to an incident on July 18.

A prosecuting lawyer explained police were called to the Redford Park area near Moy in response to a report that the driver’s side window of a car had been smashed.

A piece of masonry was found on the front passenger side of the vehicle, Dungannon Magistrates Court has heard.

According to the prosecutor, CCTV footage from the scene showed a male, later identified as being the defendant, in an intoxicated state and using the piece of masonry to smash the window of the car.

The cost of the damage to the vehicle was £633, the court was told.

Defending, Patsy Hughes, solicitor, said Groogan had previously made a complaint to police about an alleged incident involving his neighbour and, on this occasion, had been returning home, “with drink on board”, when he took the decision to carry out what the solicitor claimed was an “entirely unpremeditated” action.

Groogan’s solicitor said his client had paid around £200 towards the cost of the damage and emphasised he was trying to find employment, adding “there are issues with alcohol, clearly”.

Addressing Groogan, District Judge, John Meehan, ordered Groogan to carry out 200 hours of community service and warned the defendant: “You are on a very thin thread indeed. You are way past anything but prison.”

The Judge told Groogan he was giving him “one more chance” to address his personal issues and stay out of trouble.

A compensation order was made for the sum of £633, payable to the car owner.