A Newport man stole tractors from farms on two separate occasions on his way home from nights out.
At Westport District Court, Jason McManamon, aged 19, Knockmoyle, Newport, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, criminal damage and public order. Garda Paul Lafferty said on August 15, 2009 he found a badly damaged car at Slogger, Newport. Several windows had been smashed, the plastic cover of the ignition had been taken off and a screwdriver had been put into it.
The car was parked on a hard shoulder. The previous day the owner had been driving it from Newport to Westport when he had difficulty with the gearbox and parked it up.
There was €1,655 damage done.
Later that day, gardaí received a report of a stolen tractor from Thomas O'Malley, Kilmeena, Westport. It was later found near the defendant's home.
In a statement, McManamon said he met lads in Newport and they drank in two different pubs. They went to Westport and he bought a naggin of Vodka and drank it in a car.
He then went to two more pubs. He was refused entry to the nightclub at the Castlecourt Hotel as he was too drunk and he went to Cosy Joe's where he met three girls. He went to a house party.
At the party he was given a pill by a person he didn't know and was told it would make his night better. He then went to the Maxol Station on the Newport Road and tried to get a lift home.
He saw the car on the road and smashed the window with a stone. He sat into the car and tried to turn on the radio. He got out and walked in the Newport direction. He stopped at a farm and saw the Massey Ferguson 135.
He started it with a ring or key and put on the lights. He went out of the farmyard, drove past Fahy Church, drove through Newport and out the Glenhest Road where he parked it up at 7 a.m. and went home. He went out later that day to bring the tractor back but it was gone.
Supt. Michael Murray said on March 17 last McManamon was refused entry to Newport Hotel by staff. He continued to try to gain entry.
Garda McGlynn arrived and directed him to leave the area, which he did. However, he returned 20 minutes later and again tried to gain entry.
He was threatening and abusive to staff and the gardaí. He was arrested at 10.10 p.m.
Garda Mark Irwin said he received a report from Peadar McGee of Kilmeena, Westport, that his Massey Ferguson tractor had been stolen from his farmyard on August 20. He had last used it on August 16.
He said he had heard his dog barking in the early hours of the morning, which was unusual.
The garda said on the night he had been on duty in the area and had seen McManamon walking in the direction of Newport. The defendant admitted taking the tractor and driving it without insurance or a licence.
Solicitor Mr. James Hanley said these were 'curious tractor incidents'. A certain feature of the case was that in each instance he had taken copious amounts of alcohol.
He had been bluntly honest in his statements. On the first night he found himself in Westport with no taxi to Newport and wanted to sleep somewhere so he put a stone through the window of the car.
He put something in the ignition to start the radio. He moved on and saw the tractor and drove home.
McManamon, he said, wanted to be a mechanic. In August last, there was a key in the ignition of the tractor which was tantalising him and he used it to bring him home.
He had worked in a garage in Glenhest which had since folded. He wanted to do a motor technician's course in Limerick IT.
Judge Mary Devins warned if she finalised the case McManamon would be in custody for two years. She adjourned the case to February 3 for a probation and welfare report, stating if he had not paid back full compensation and had not stopped drinking entirely, he would be going away.