Judge gives man a chance fol­low­ing mum’s ev­i­dence DIS­TRICT COURT

Wicklow People - - NEWS -

AN Ark­low man who was charged with the pos­ses­sion of an of­fen­sive weapon when he threat­ened a garda with a kitchen knife sharp­ener has been spared a prison sen­tence fol­low­ing the ev­i­dence of his mother, which Judge Alan Mitchell said he was ‘very im­pressed’ by.

Dy­lan Kee­gan of 27 The Green Mead­ow­vale was charged with the of­fence at his home ad­dress on Jan­uary 29, 2017.

Garda Peter McGin­ley told the court that on foot of a call to the sta­tion, he and three col­leagues at­tended The Green in Mead­ow­vale where he made en­quiries and was di­rected to the home of Dy­lan Kee­gan.

He said that the ac­cused’s mother June Don­nelly came to the door and beck­oned the of­fi­cers in with a hand ges­ture and said that she did not want her neigh­bours to see.

The garda gave ev­i­dence that Kee­gan was ‘very irate and ver­bally abu­sive’ and told the gar­daí to leave his house, that they had no war­rant and called them pigs and c***s.

It was out­lined that Kee­gan went into the kitchen and was ‘rustling in draw­ers’ be­fore rais­ing the knife sharp­ener, ini­tially thought to be a ma­chete, by the garda.

He com­plied with the di­rec­tion of Garda McGin­ley to drop the ar­ti­cle and to lay down on the ground.

He said that dur­ing the in­ci­dent Kee­gan ‘struck out’ at his mother, but Ms Don­nelly dis­puted this and said that her son did not.

So­lic­i­tor David Tar­rant raised the is­sue of en­try to the house and said that if Ms Don­nelly did not of­fi­cially in­vite of­fi­cers in that the ar­rest was un­law­ful and there­fore so were the charges.

Garda McGin­ley said that this in­ci­dent ‘goes be­yond the war­rant’ and said that ‘if some­thing had hap­pened’ that ques­tions would have been asked as to why the gar­daí did not in­ter­vene.

‘From her de­meanour, she looked in fear - so we could not leave,’ he said.

Garda Leanne Kir­wan, in ev­i­dence said that four of­fi­cers would not fit into the porch at Ms Don­nelly’s home and there­fore the in­di­ca­tion was that they were to go in­side the prop­erty.

‘Her son was get­ting more and more ag­gres­sive, telling her to get the guards out. He kept push­ing her and from a guard’s view it was like she was afraid of her son,’ Garda Kir­wan said.

In ev­i­dence, Ms Don­nelly said that it was the pres­ence of such a large num­ber of gar­daí which up­set her son and that their pres­ence caused him to be ag­i­tated.

She said that her son has ADHD and that she knows how to han­dle his bursts of anger and that she never feels in fear of him.

She added that her son ‘had a few drinks’ that day and that she was try­ing to get him to go to bed be­cause ADHD and al­co­hol do not mix.

Ms Don­nelly said that she was taken aback at the num­ber of gar­daí who turned up at her home.

‘I’m not in fear of my son. It was an un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion and the ex­ces­sive pres­ence of gar­daí did not help the sit­u­a­tion,’ she said.

The court heard that while Ms Don­nelly did not tell the gar­daí to leave, that by say­ing she could han­dle the mat­ter, that was an in­di­ca­tion to do so.

As she did not with­draw per­mis­sion for them to be there at any stage, and they did not act in an op­pres­sive man­ner, the en­try was viewed by the court as be­ing le­gal.

Judge Mitchell com­mended Ms Don­nelly for her fair ev­i­dence and said that ADHD is a ‘ma­jor chal­lenge for par­ents who love their chil­dren and want to do the best for them but noted that the weapon could have caused se­ri­ous in­jury.

So­lic­i­tor David Tar­rant said that his client moved to Ark­low with his fam­ily in 2010 to avoid neg­a­tive in­flu­ences in Dublin.

Judge Mitchell said that he would have to take the 21 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions into ac­count but ex­pressed the view that noth­ing would be gained by send­ing the de­fen­dant back to prison. He ad­vised Kee­gan to take what­ever med­i­ca­tion his GP feels is ap­pro­pri­ate and sug­gested that an anger man­age­ment course would be of ben­e­fit.

He im­posed a four-month sen­tence, sus­pended for 18 months in the de­fen­dant’s own bond of €100.

‘Your mother has im­pressed me and it is clear she loves you very much. I’m giv­ing you some chance so it is up to you if you use it,’ Judge Mitchell con­cluded.

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