Sen­tence too le­nient for man threat­en­ing to ‘gut’ garda

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Helen Bruce

A FIVE-MONTH sen­tence im­posed on a man who threat­ened to ‘gut’ a garda was too le­nient, the Court of Ap­peal has ruled.

Kris­tian Friel, 21, was on bail when he called gar­daí and said he was feel­ing sui­ci­dal. When a garda called to help him, he threat­ened to kill the garda with a knife, telling him: ‘I’m not dy­ing alone tonight.’

The DPP had sought a re­view of his sen­tence, claim­ing it was un­duly soft. The Court of Ap­peal will now con­sider what longer term of im­pris­on­ment Friel should serve.

Giv­ing the back­ground to the case, Judge John Ed­wards said in the early hours of May 31, 2016, De­tec­tive Garda Matthew Don­nel­lan was called by Friel to Mar­ket Street in Thomas­town, Co. Kilkenny.

The judge said Friel had been feel­ing sui­ci­dal at the time he made the call. When he ar­rived at the scene, Garda Don­nel­lan found Friel out­side a restau­rant, shout­ing and drink­ing cider while bran­dish­ing a knife.

‘When Garda Don­nel­lan ap­proached he shouted, “Don’t come any fur­ther or I’ll gut you,” and made a gut­ting mo­tion across his own stom­ach with the knife,’ Judge Ed­wards noted.

‘Garda Don­nel­lan was also told, “I’ll get you be­fore they get me and I’m not dy­ing alone tonight,” forc­ing him to re­treat back to the car.’

Four more gar­daí ar­rived to help and used pep­per spray on Friel, at which point he be­gan swing­ing the knife wildly to­wards them. They even­tu­ally subdued him by strik­ing him with a ba­ton on the leg. ‘We will quash the sen­tence im­posed by the court be­low,’ Judge Ed­wards said. Friel will be re-sen­tenced later.

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