Athy man nicknamed 'Ten Cent' jailed after kicking wing mirrors off Garda car

Man had 63 previous convictions

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Athy man nicknamed 'Ten Cent' jailed after kicking wing mirrors off Garda car

The case was heard at Athy District Court this week

A man who was before Athy District Court last Tuesday, February 13, for criminal damage and public order offences while drunk, was given an eight month prison sentence.

John Higgins (53), with an address listed as 7 Slieve Bhearu, Cois Bhearu, Athy, pleaded guilty in court.

He came to the attention of gardai on June 13, 2017, at 2pm when he arrived to Athy District Court drunk and started “roaring and shouting” and had to be restrained while the court was sitting.

On February 20, at 2.25pm, he came to the attention of gardai again when he went over to a patrol car on duty and kicked the wing mirror. He told gardai his name was ‘Ten Cent and an altercation broke out after he began kicking the other wing mirror. He took off with gardai chasing him down the road. He was arrested and taken to Athy garda station.

A third time he came to garda attention was when gardai received a phone call to say a drunken man was lying in the middle of the road. Gardai arrived and tried to move him, however he became aggressive, the court was told. 

Judge Desmond Zaidan asked the defendant why he told gardai he was called 'Ten Cent'.

“It's my nickname,” he said. “I had just got a conviction over ten cents - I was ten cent short and that's how I got my name.”

Judge Desmond Zaidan said that alcohol was like a red rag to a bull where the defendant is concerned.  “He attacks the law - what is your obsession with the law?” asked the judge.

The defendant replied that he “just had bad dealings with the law over the years”. He has 63 previous convictions. His solicitor Jackie McManus told the court that her client has since changed his ways and is working with the probation services to turn his life around.

He is no longer drinking alcohol and he has not come to the attention of gardai since. Judge Zaidan asked what happens if he takes alcohol again.

“He is no longer abusing alcohol,” said the solicitor. The defendant was given an eight month custodial sentence.