A LIMERICK man has received a suspended prison sentence for threatening to kill two gardai in the city.
Limerick District Court heard that the men were seriously in fear of their lives and those of their families, and were advised to take safety precautions for themselves.
Judge Tom O’Donnell requested that both gardai – one of whom is a detective sergeant in the city – should not be identified.
Aidan Power, 34, of Milltown, Ballysimon, pleading guilty to two charges of threatening to kill the gardai on November 22 last at Henry Street garda station.
Following his arrest, his home was searched under a warrant and a broken-up firearm was found in his bedroom.
The air rifle had been bought in the UK, but he had no license for its possession. Gardai accepted that the .22 calibre rifle was not in working order.
Garda Donal Moynihan of Mayorstone garda station told the court the threats made by Mr Power on the lives of both gardai were recorded and included specific information about the two men’s movements and schedules.
“Both men were very worried and upset and adopted personal safety measures. It was taken very seriously,” said Garda Moynihan.
Solicitor Chris Lynch said his client has had some employment in Europe, and may move to Germany.
“He is more than aware that this could have ended up in the Circuit Court,” added Mr Lynch.
He said his client suffers from delusions as part of his illness and asked the judge to be as lenient as possible.
A medical report was presented to the Judge O’Donnell for Mr Power, who lives at home with his parents.
Judge O’Donnell expressed surprise that the Director of Public Prosecutions saw fit for the case to be disposed in the district court on the plea of guilty only.
“The difficult factor is the content of the medical report,” he said.
“He definitely does have certain serious difficulties that are beyond his control at times, but he does understand right from wrong,” he said.
He imposed two 10 month sentences on the charges of threatening to kill and possession of an unlicensed firearm, suspended for 18 months with the condition that Mr Power stays away from the gardai and their families.
In imposing the sentence he took into account the plea and his minor previous convictions for theft and road traffic offences.
He said there would be liberty to re-enter the matter if he revoked these conditions.