Limerick-based detective tells jury he feared for family's safety following threats

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Limerick-based detective tells jury he feared for family's safety following threats

The trial resumes this Thursday at Limerick Circuit Court

A JURY has been told that a senior Limerick-based detective was fearful for the safety of his family after he was threatened that he would be rammed off the road and his house burned down.

Darren O’Halloran, aged 31, of Aurea Cottage, Dublin Road has pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill Detective Garda Pat Whelan in a phone call to Henry Street garda station on April 2, 2015.

He also denies threatening to cause damage to the detective’s home, which is located outside of Limerick.

In his evidence, Detective Garda Pat Whelan said he was on duty at around 2pm when a phone call was received in the crime office at Henry Street garda station.

He told the jury the caller identified himself as ‘Darren Joey’ and that he immediately recognised the person on the phone as the accused man.

“I’m very familiar with this man, I’ve spoken to him many times,” he said adding he was “absolutely 100%” it was Darren O’Halloran.

The detective told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that during the subsequent conversation Mr O’Halloran suggested that he and his brother, Aaron, would “do no more crime” if gardai “backed off”.

The jury was told Aaron O’Halloran was the subject of a High Court arrest warrant at the time and that gardai in several parts of the country were actively trying to locate him.

Detective Garda Whelan said when he indicated to the caller that gardai would not be backing down, the defendant became aggressive on the phone.

He told the court he threatened to “finish” him saying: “Go get your V6 Mondeo, I’ll ram you off the road at 160 miles an hour.”

The jury was told the caller then described seeing the detective on a white horse at a named location outside Limerick some time earlier and that he also made reference to the location and colour of his home which he threatened to “burn to the ground”.

The witness confirmed he drives a Ford Mondeo car and he said he was concerned at the “remarkable accuracy and detail” of the comments which had been made.

“The first thing I did was to take steps straight away to secure my home,” he told the jury.

Being cross-examined by Anthony Sammon SC, Det Garda Whelan insisted he was not mistaken as to the identity of the caller.

Mr Sammon said his client has six brothers and that there are “people who are gifted mimics, such as Mr Rosenstock, who do very very realistic mimicry of people’s voices”.

“Wouldn’t he be a right gobshite (to call) if you know him so well?” asked Mr Sammon to which Detective Garda Whelan replied: “You said it”.

The trial resumes later today before Judge Tom O’Donnell and a jury of eight men and four women at Limerick Circuit Court.