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Drunk Armagh man damaged cars and fired glass bottles around car park

Defence claimed client was influenced by alcohol and company after staying out of trouble for 10 years

Lonsdale Car park

An Armagh man who had not offended in a decade has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The 36-year-old’s barrister stated that this was not the defendant’s “usual demeanour” claiming he had been influenced by alcohol and his company on that night.

Paul Thomas Murphy, 36, of Drumbreda Avenue, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage and disorderly behaviour at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on June 10, at around 4.30am, a number of young people were gathered in the Lonsdale Road car park in Armagh.

They were approached by the defendant and another male, who both appeared to have taken alcohol.

Murphy kicked the wing mirrors of two vehicles belonging to the young persons present. These included a Volkswagen Golf and an Audi A4.

The defendant then began to throw glass bottles around the car park making a nuisance of himself.

Court heard the estimated damage to the Audi was around £65 with the Golf being around the same.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “This happened in a place where young people and car enthusiasts tend to congregate.

“On the night in question, the defendant found himself in the company of another male who he should know to avoid.”

Court heard that Murphy had a record but had not offended since 2008.

Mr Lannon said: “He had been drinking that night and took too much. He was also influenced by the person he was with. This is not Mr Murphy’s usual demeanour.”

Deputy District Judge Peter King stated: “You should have known better than to get involved with this sort of person. You had gone around a decade without offending.

“I believe that the time for financial penalties has passed given your late plea.”

Murphy was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £95 to both of the injured parties in the case.

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