Solicitor asks judge to jail his client for a lengthier period

Derry Magistrates Court

A solicitor at Derry Magistrate's Court took the unusual step of asking the judge to jail his client for a lengthier period than he might have.

The situation arose during the case of Joseph Damian Young (49) of no fixed abode in Derry who appeared charged with two counts of criminal damage.

The court heard that on Sunday the injured party had parked near to the police station and when she returned she saw Young damaging a wing mirror on her car valued at £200.

Young then walked into the Inquiries office in the Strand Road station and pulled a tablet off the desk causing £60 worth of damage.

Defence solicitor Mr. Seamus Quigley said he had taken 'specific instructions on this matter' and this was a case of someone wanting to be caught.

He said in this case 'absolutely everything had been tried' and added that his client was 'an intelligent man with some insight'.

He said that Young had told him that a short prison sentence does not work as it is like 'a revolving door'.
The solicitor told District Judge Barney McElholm that Young wished for a substantial sentence around 18 months which might 'give him a chance'.

Judge McElholm said Young was 'a hopeless alcoholic' and added that he had said many times in the past that if there were facilities for treatment he would send Young there but there weren't.

He imposed an 18 month prison sentence on Young.