Slash hook man gets 15 months
COURT TOLD OF ATTACK ON GARDAI AND POSSESSION OF SYRINGE
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.