Limerick court hears that young man had ‘very fancy’ knife for protection

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick District Court was told the defendant’s car was stopped and searched after it was observed by gardai acting suspiciously

Limerick District Court was told the defendant’s car was stopped and searched after it was observed by gardai acting suspiciously

A PRE-SANCTIONED probation report is to be prepared in the case of a young Limerick man who admitted having a “very fancy” knife for his own protection.

Luke Halvey-O’Brien, aged 21, of Lisheen Park, Patrickswell  pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident at Main Street in the village shortly after midnight on November 11, 2017.

Limerick District Court was told the defendant’s car – a black Ford Focus – was stopped and searched after it was observed by gardai acting suspiciously and driving at high speed through the village.

“A nine inch knife was located behind the driver’s seat of the vehicle he was driving,” said Sergeant Donal Cronin.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told the defendant took responsibility for the knife and made admissions during interview. However, he did not provide any legitimate reason for having the knife.

Two other people were in the car when it was stopped.

Solicitor Andrew D’Arcy said his client had been the victim of a “very brutal assault” at a nightclub in the city two months earlier and that he had the knife for his own protection.

He said the young man spent around a month in hospital and that he has been threatened since the incident.

“Threats were made by the alleged assailant arising from his complaint (to gardai), he was extremely fearful,” he said, adding that his client accepts he should not have had the knife.

The solicitor insisted Mr Halvey-O’Brien is a “law abiding member of society” and that he would never have used the knife.

He urged Judge O’Leary to view the incident in the context of the previous assault and the fact that the defendant had only been released from hospital a number of days earlier.

Responding to Mr D’Arcy’s submissions, Sgt Cronin confirmed he had “an awareness” of the assault but he added that it did not justify Mr Halvey-O’Brien having the knife in the circumstances outlined to the court.

“Any notions he has can be dispelled,” he said.

Having considered the matter and noting the defendant’s guilty plea, Judge O’Leary adjourned the matter to September  to facilitate the preparation of a pre-sanctioned probation report.