Man charged with damaging Examiner office must make no comment

Judge orders man to make no public comment about a serving garda, a judge or staff at Irish Examiner

Judge Olann Kelleher warned Michael Praetor he risked being taken into custody if he failed to abide by the bail conditions but Mr Praetor said he understood that and would fully comply with them. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Judge Olann Kelleher warned Michael Praetor he risked being taken into custody if he failed to abide by the bail conditions but Mr Praetor said he understood that and would fully comply with them. Photograph: Eric Luke.

 

A man has been ordered not to make any public comment about a serving garda, a judge or the staff of the Irish Examiner after he was charged with criminal damage to the newspaper’s offices.

Michael Praetor (63) was charged with criminal damage to the office on Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork city centre after he allegedly pasted posters on the windows on May 31st last.

The posters at the centre of the charge made comments about a senior member of An Garda Síochána in Cork as well as a Circuit Court judge and members of the Irish Examiner staff.

Mr Praetor is also charged with a second count of failing to comply with an order from Cork District Court from October 2015 that he would not communicate with or about the serving Garda officer.

Today at Cork District Court, Det Garda Danny McEnery gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation the criminal damage charge and the second charge of failing to comply with a court order.

He told the court that Mr Praetor replied to the criminal damage charge, “In relation to the window, it was washable glue”, while he made no reply to the second charge.

Det Garda McEnery said gardaí had no objection to bail for Mr Praetor, whose address was given as c/o St Vincent’s Hostel, Anglesea Street, Cork, once he agreed to abide by a number of bail conditions.

These conditions included that he would not write, post or have in his possession in public any material that makes reference to the garda officer, the judge or the Irish Examiner and its staff.

A second condition of bail was that Mr Praetor would not post any material on social media that would make any reference to the garda officer, the judge or the Irish Examiner and its staff.

A third condition of bail was that Mr Praetor would not have any contact directly or indirectly with the serving garda officer, the judge or the Irish Examiner and its staff, said Det Garda McEnery.

And gardaí also sought as a bail condition an undertaking from Mr Praetor that he would reside at St Vincent’s Hostel on Anglesea Street and notify gardaí of any change of address.

They also sought for Mr Praetor to sign on once a week - every Monday - at Anglesea Street Garda Station and he agreed to do so as well as abide by the other four bail terms sought by gardaí.

Judge Olann Kelleher warned Mr Praetorhe risked being taken into custody if he failed to abide by the bail conditions but Mr Praetor said he understood that and would fully comply with them.

Det Garda McEnery said the DPP had directed trial by indictment before a judge and jury on the charges after Mr Praetor told the court that he wanted to be tried by a judge and jury.

Judge Kelleher advised him to get himself a solicitor as the charge can carry a prison sentence but Mr Praetor said he would represent himself on the charges as he did not trust any solicitors.

Insp Danny Coholan applied for a remand until January 26th and Judge Kelleher remanded Mr Praetor on bail until that date for service of the book of evidence against him on the two charges.