Kerry judge says he’s entitled to see where people previously received the benefit of the court poor box

A Kerry judge says he’s entitled to see instances where people facing charges previously received the benefit of the court poor box.

Judge David Waters was speaking in Tralee District Court recently, where a local man was facing assault and affray offences.

At an earlier hearing, the court heard the accused had no previous convictions; Judge Waters was later told the defendant received the benefit of the Probation Act and the court poor box.

Judge Waters claimed he has never imposed a custodial sentence for a first assault causing harm offence; however, as the accused man had previously been before the court, Judge Waters considered the most recent offence not to be the man’s first appearance.

He imposed a custodial sentence, despite solicitor Padraig O’Connell saying that during a previous regime the use of the poor box gave the impression that issues were dealt with and finalised.

Judge Waters reiterated that he’s entitled to take these previous offences into account.