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Judge Patrick Durcan

Blood trail leads gardaí to trespasser

Gardaí were able to arrest a drug addict, who admitted trespassing with intent to commit theft, after they followed a trail of blood from a hand injury the man sustained while gaining entry to a premises.

The shrewd piece of detective work was outlined to Judge Patrick Durcan at this week’s of Ennis District Court when Patrick Ballard (28) was sentenced to a term in prison.

The court heard that on July 1 last, at 2.15am, a window was broken at the Spar shop in Lifford and gardaí were called. Arriving on the scene, they found a trail of blood, which led back to Lifford Lodge, where they found Patrick Ballard with cuts to his hand.

He had cut his hand in his attempt to get into the shop.

The court heard that the defendant had 68 previous convictions, six of them for theft and one for burglary.

Mr Ballard’s solicitor, Tara Godfrey, said he has significant difficulty with his hearing and over the years, he has developed mental health issues. She added that he has spent time living homeless and is now developing an addiction to heroin.

Ms Godfrey said the defendant would actually welcome a period in custody and that it is hoped he would be able to access a methadone programme. She said that a sentence of between three and six months might be helpful to the defendant and that it wouldn’t damage his prospects of reintegrating with the community.

Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a five-month sentence, which he said “should give him a sufficient period of time to get himself organised”.
Separately, Mr Ballard was also before the court regarding a decision in February to give him 120 hours of community service, in lieu of a three-month sentence.

After hearing that Mr Ballard had not co-operated with the services, the judge revoked the community service order and imposed the three-month sentence.


Owen Ryan

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