Judge says some defendants leave court with suspended sentences saying 'Happy Days' but then re-offend

Judge says some defendants leave court with suspended sentences saying 'Happy Days' but then re-offend

A JUDGE said he believes many defendants leave his court with suspended sentences thinking "Happy Days" but then re-offend.

District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena (main picture), where Kurtis Mitchell (28), with an address listed as Larne Road in Ballymena, admitted causing criminal damage to a front door window in June this year.

The defendant told police he had finished a Community Service session earlier on the day of the incident.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant is now off "substances".

On the date in question the lawyer said an "argument" had arisen but Mitchell "realises he went beyond remonstrating".

The offence was in breach of a suspended sentence.

Judge Broderick said: "I think this is another defendant who walks out those doors smiling to himself thinking 'Oh I have got away with it, a suspended sentence, happy days' and just walks on down the street and doesn't think about it until he is back in court, then he is facing prison".

The judge said the "only glimmer of hope" was that Mitchell was engaging well with Probation.

The judge deferred sentencing until next May.