A 76-year-old Templeglantine man and father-of-15 was fined €1,500 at Abbeyfeale Court for assaulting a garda at his home in Rathcahill West in July 2011. Patrick Doherty Snr, was fined a further €1,000 for producing a breadknife, with which he threatened another garda, on the same occasion.
When the case came before Judge Mary Larkin last April, Mr Doherty denied the charges but was convicted as charged. It would be almost impossible not to impose a custodial sentence, the Judge said at the time but she ordered a probation report and said she had to take his age into account. The incidents occurred when gardai went to Mr Doherty’s home to execute an arrest warrant for his son Danny arising from a civil case involving a land dispute, which followed the death in 2004 of a Mr Edward Roche. Another of Mr Doherty’s sons, Conor, was jailed for three months for assaulting a Garda when they arrived in the Doherty home on July 27, 2011.
Solicitor Enda O’Connor, pleading for Patrick Doherty Snr last week, said it was “highly unlikely” his client would re-offend. Mr Doherty, he said, was 76, had been widowed for 10 years and was a hard worker.
“He is an honest individual who maintains a very simple lifestyle,” Mr O’Connor said. “I found him to be a very calm, relaxed individual.”
He was, he continued, aware that a custodial sentence was possible but asked that, in light of his age, and previous good record, it could be dealt with in some other way.
His client, he added, was a landowner but was not cash rich.
Imposing the fines, Judge Larkin said the Gardai were going about their duty and “should not have been subjected to the treatment they received.”
Recognisance with leave to appeal was fixed at Mr Doherty’s own surety of €900 and an independent surety of €500.