NCW Court heard the defendant 'feared for the safety of his family'
AN Askeaton man who was seen brandishing a slash hook while he chased after a car has been sentenced to 120 hours community service or 3 months jail in lieu.
Before the court was Danny Harty, 1 Deelside, The Quay, Askeaton who pleaded to possessing a slash hook intending to intimidate; to running while carrying a slash hook in a threatening manner and to being intoxicated to such an extent as to be a danger to himself or others. The incidents all took place at the Quay on May 15 last year.
Inspector Andrew Lacey told the court that on that date gardai observed a man carrying a slash hook running towards a Golf car with two males on board. The gardai, he said, had to intervene and Mr Harty was intoxicated at the time.
Pleading for his client, solicitor Enda O’Connor said his client was aged 26 and the father of three. The background, Mr O’Connor said, was that Mr Harty was under “some significant pressure and intimidation from parties who are known to him and related to him”.
Mr Harty was at home with his family that day. “One of his children was playing on the footpath when a vehicle came close and swerved, narrowly missing the child,” Mr O’Connor said.
The incident angered and antagonised Mr Harty, the solicitor said but added that he “didn’t use a weapon in the conventional sense.
“He admitted it was to scare them off,” said Mr O’Connor who pointed out there were no injuries and no confrontation and his client had cooperated with the gardai.
“His family have subsequently been the target of a very vicious attack,” Mr O’Connor said. “He feared for the safety of his family. That was the root cause of the action.
“My difficulty with all of this,” Judge Mary Larkin said, “is if you are threatened by somebody, why didn’t he ring the gardai? He only adds to the dangers to the public by running after these people with a slash hook.”
She was of the view that it warranted a prison sentence, imposing a three months prison sentence or 120 hours community service in lieu should Mr Harty be found suitable for it.