Slash hook man gets 15 months


Bray People - - Bray People -

A 24-YEAR-OLD man who came af­ter gar­daí with a slash hook dur­ing a four-hour stand off in Rocky Val­ley was sen­tenced to a to­tal of 15 months in prison at Bray District Court last week. The sen­tence in­cluded time for hav­ing an un­capped sy­ringe in his pocket when he was found un­con­scious in a McDon­ald’s toi­let last Jan­uary. Gar­daí were called to the home of James Moore­house at 7.45 a.m. on the morn­ing of Novem­ber 8 2007 to check on the wel­fare of his three chil­dren af­ter a com­plaint from the de­fen­dant’s wife, Mary Moore­house, the court heard.

He was armed with a slash hook and gar­daí were forced to with­draw. Moore­house fol­lowed them out on to the road where he threw rocks, hit­ting the pa­trol car as well as Garda Colin McGovern.

Still bran­dish­ing the slash hook, he ran it along the bound­ary wall of the house, ‘leav­ing gar­daí in no doubt as to his in­ten­tions,’ ac­cord­ing to Garda Gabriel Donoghue. Trained ne­go­tia­tors and HSE staff were called to the scene to as­sist with what gar­daí called a ‘volatile sit­u­a­tion.’ There were other fam­ily mem­bers present as well as the three young chil­dren.

Af­ter some time the man, with a cur­rent ad­dress of Camp­site, Rocky Val­ley, Kil­macanogue, was ar­rested and the chil­dren re­moved from the scene. Garda Ea­mon Fur­long was called to McDon­ald’s some three months later on Jan­uary 7, where staff mem­bers said a man was passed out in the toi­let cu­bi­cle.

He said that there was drug para­pher­na­lia in one of the cu­bi­cles. He jumped over the other, locked cu­bi­cle and re­vived Moorhouse. He asked him two or three times if he had any­more sy­ringes on him, to which he replied that he did not. Garda Fur­long later found one in the back pocket of the ac­cused.

Moore­house’s so­lic­i­tor, Joe Maguire, told Judge Mur­rough Con­nel­lan that his client has three chil­dren aged six, five and three, but he and his wife had a still-born baby 18 months ago.

He said that the death had sent him in to a de­pres­sion for which he was tak­ing an­tide­pres­sants then went out of con­trol on drugs.

Mr. Maguire said that the mar­riage was in dire straits and that Moore­house and his wife had been out to­gether the night be­fore the in­ci­dent, with the chil­dren stay­ing with his par­ents. Moorhouse also stayed with his par­ents that night, the court heard, and was sur­prised that the gar­daí had been called to the house.

The court heard that the ac­cused is seek­ing a full detox and has been on good be­hav­iour.

Judge Mur­rough Con­nel­lan said that it is ‘not tol­er­a­ble’ for mem­bers of An Garda Siochána to have to deal with com­ing across un­capped sy­ringes.

Moorhouse was sen­tenced to nine months for the sy­ringe, with Judge Con­nel­lan tak­ing in to con­sid­er­a­tion be­ing passed out in the toi­let of a fam­ily restau­rant.

‘The pro­duc­tion of a slash hook and the un­pro­voked as­sault on gar­daí is again some­thing be­yond be­lief,’ said Judge Con­nel­lan be­fore sen­tenc­ing him to nine months for pro­duc­ing the weapon, nine months for the sy­ringe and six months for throw­ing stones and in­jur­ing a garda.

James Moore­house: sen­tenced to 24 months at Bray District Court.

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