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Fir-ly shocking Man who tried to pull down Christmas tree on Dublin's Grafton Street avoids jail

Noel Colvin (43) took the star off the tree before trying to pull it from its stand, then hurled abuse at gardaí.

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Noel Colvin, with an address at Old Cabra Road, charged with breach of the peace

Noel Colvin, with an address at Old Cabra Road, charged with breach of the peace

Noel Colvin, with an address at Old Cabra Road, charged with breach of the peace

A MAN who tried to pull down a Christmas tree in front of horrified shoppers on Grafton Street has been spared a prison sentence.

Noel Colvin (43) took the star off the tree before trying to pull it from its stand, then hurled abuse at gardaí.

Judge Michael Walsh gave him a three-month suspended sentence after hearing Colvin had a "terrible drink problem."

The accused, of Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Grafton Street on November 22, 2018.

It was claimed Colvin went up to the tree, took the star off and put it in his pocket before trying to pull the tree from its holder and knock it over.

He shouted at gardaí and was "highly abusive" to them, the court heard.

Other charges had been brought in relation to the incident and he had initially contested the case but entered a guilty plea after those charges were withdrawn, the court heard.

The accused had 102 previous convictions for offences including obstruction, breach of the peace and other public order charges.

At the time of the incident, Colvin was living on the streets and sleeping near Grafton Street, his solicitor Murrough O'Rourke said.

The accused, who had a "terrible drink problem" for over 20 years, accepted he was "very rude" to the garda and apologised.

Colvin had recently been badly attacked and ended up in hospital with a broken jaw.

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Mr O'Rourke asked Judge Walsh to be lenient.

The judge said ordinary citizens of Dublin had to suffer Colvin's attempts to pull down a Christmas tree, "a horrifying act to say the least in the presence of people shopping."

He said the charge merited a custodial sentence but he suspended it for a year on the basis that the accused keeps the peace and is of good behaviour.

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