Limerick man jailed for 'body bag' threats to gardai  

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Inspector Paul Reidy told Limerick District Court the two gardai were “exceptionally upset and traumatised”

Inspector Paul Reidy told Limerick District Court the two gardai were “exceptionally upset and traumatised”

A LIMERICK man who threatened to kill two gardai telling them they would leave his home in body bags has been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.

Garret Fitzgerald, aged 41, of Ballygrennan Road, Ballynanty, pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident on September 12,  2016.

Inspector Paul Reidy told Limerick District Court the two gardai were “exceptionally upset and traumatised” and that both “really feared” the threats  would be carried out after they encountered him when they responded to reports of a domestic dispute at his home shortly before 11pm.

Insp Reidy said after the two gardai were alerted to the incident, they observed movement inside the house and knocked at the front door.

Fitzgerald, he said, was shouting and roaring and was extremely aggressive when he answered the door.

Judge David Waters was told he then walked past the two gardai and began screaming at a young girl who had been placed in a patrol car for her own safety.

Insp Reidy said the situation became volatile very quickly and that at one point the defendant aggressively clenched his fists and threatened the two gardai.

“You will leave here with two black eyes, you will end up on the wrong side of this,” he told them.

Fitzgerald then made a phone call telling whoever he was calling to “come down” to his home.

While on the phone the two gardai then heard him saying he “did not give a f***” who they were and that they would leave in body bags.

Insp Reidy said Fitzgerald, who has a number of serious criminal convictions, the returned to the house before emerging with his hands behind his back.

“They (the two gardai) were very fearful that he had a gun,” he said adding that the assistance for the armed Regional Support Unit was requested.

Solicitor Tom Kiely said his client was very drunk and that he accepts his behaviour was unacceptable.

He said he had no intention of carrying out the threats and that he didn’t wake up that day with the intention to threaten the two gardai – one of whom went on extended stress leave following the incident.

“In the heat of the moment he uttered those words,” he said.

Imposing sentence, Judge David Waters said Fitzgerald had behaved abominably and  that he had no doubt he intended for the two gardai to believe the threats.