Hackers from Portmarnock School claim they were trying to make money from 'someone else's trash'

Hackers from Portmarnock School claim they were trying to make money from ‘someone else’s trash’

The court heard that two men who pleaded guilty to trespassing at Portmarknock Community School were “simply trying to make a little money out of someone else’s trash”.

ohn Moorehouse (30) and John Connors (36) were arrested after headmaster called Gardaí when he noticed them on the school grounds.

The couple told Gardaí they saw a jump and thought they could pass it but the skip was not visible from the road they were told Swords District Court.

Defense attorney Fiona Darcy said the couple were looking for scrap to sell.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity told the court that Gardy received a call shortly before noon to report that two males driving a red truck had entered the school grounds.

She said the guard who reported the incident believed the couple were there for “outrageous reasons”.

When Gardy spoke to John Morehouse, of Walcott Halting Site, Old Connaught Street, Bray, and asked him why he was on the school property, he said he saw a jump and thought he could make it through.

Sergeant McGarrity said the skip was not visible from the road.

Morehouse has no previous convictions.

She said Garday also spoke to John Connors, who couldn’t give a good reason for being in the school.

Connors, of Stonebridge Grove, Shankill, has 13 previous convictions.

She added that the official confirmed that neither of the two men had permission to be there.

Mrs. Darcy said there was a construction site next door to the school and the two men had seen a jump and wanted to go through to see if there was any scrap they could take for resale.

She said the accident happened in the middle of the day, the school was closed and no one was afraid.

They had successfully handled scrap metal previously and when their caretaker spoke to them, they asked if they could go through the skip.

The guard said he was calling Gardy and they stayed with him for half an hour until Gardy arrived.

The lawyer said the two men were “simply trying to make a little money out of someone else’s trash.”

She added that there was no evidence that they were threatening in any way and that they told Jardi the same story he told the manager.

When the judge asked her to explain why they were on the school grounds for skipping when the skip could not be seen from the road, Ms Darcy said the couple “assumed” there would be a skip because there was a construction site next door.

She said the accident happened in the middle of the day, and if there was anything more sinister or unwanted, they could have waited and come back at night.

Judge John O’Leary, who indicted the couple, said he wasn’t convinced he had heard everything in the case but would give the accused “the benefit of the doubt” because he couldn’t assume anything.

John Morehouse was fined 200 euros and John Connors 400 euros.

A man previously convicted of 125 spitting on the floor of a patrol car and telling Gardy he had Covid 19 and Aids was jailed for two months.

James Byrne, 42, was arrested by Gardaí shortly after 3 a.m. on May 12, 2020, after reports of a man breaking into a car at Holywell Drive in Swords.

Sergeant Patricia McGarrity told Swords County Court that the accused became “extremely aggressive” after his arrest, and spat on the floor of the patrol car.

Byrne told Gardaí he has Covid 19 and Aids and would spit on them if he got close enough.

The court heard that the defendant is currently serving a six-month prison sentence in connection with another matter, and was sentenced to three months in prison at the International Court of Justice, resulting in the previous sentence being suspended for two months in January of this year.

Defense attorney Annette Kelly said the accused had “suffered from addiction for many years”.

Byrne grew up in Kilbarak and left school at the age of 13, after which he developed a cannabis habit that escalated into a heroin addiction. She said the accused was acquitted in 2019 but was involved in a serious traffic accident in 2020 that left him in a coma for several weeks and then relapsed into drug addiction.

Ms Kelly said Bayern had had a “difficult life”, adding that most of his offenses – though prolific – were at the secondary end of the scale.

She said he has been “in and out of drug use” for a number of years but is currently on methadone and is doing well.

Judge John O’Leary said Byrne was given a chance in January when his sentence was suspended for two years.

Enacting a suspended sentence, Byrne was convicted and sentenced to two months in prison.

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