Nine-month sentence for man who threatened Offaly garda with knife
A MAN who threatened a guard with a knife when gardai called to a house in Birr was sentenced to nine months in prison last week.
Cian Quinn, 11 The Heritage, Main Street, Birr shouted at Garda Laurence O'Gorman that he would “run this through you” after approaching him with a large knife which he had got from the kitchen, a court heard.
The incident occurred on February 22 last when Garda O'Gorman and Garda David Lewis called to a house to make enquiries.
Sergeant Michael Dardis told Tullamore District Court last week that they met members of the Quinn family when they arrived and noticed that people at the address had been drinking.
Cian Quinn, aged 22, was asleep at the time but was woken up by a family member and he became threatening and abusive towards the gardai.
Sergeant Dardis said the man went to a kitchen drawer and produced the knife and started to walk towards the gardai in a threatening manner and told Garda O'Gorman to leave.
Garda O'Gorman believed he was going to be stabbed and he pointed pepper-spray at Mr Quinn and backed out of the house with Garda Lewis.
Mr Quinn only stopped when his mother stepped in front of him. The gardai were not followed when they left the house and after they requested the assistance of the armed response unit the accused was arrested.
He was charged with threatening to kill and producing a weapon in the course of a dispute.
Sergeant Dardis said Mr Quinn had been on remand in custody since the date of the incident.
He had 38 previous convictions, including eight for theft, one for burglary, nine for public order offences, seven for assault, eight for criminal damage, one for interfering with a vehicle and four for not appearing in court.
On the night of his arrest there were two warrants in existence for him from Kilkenny District Court.
Judge Bernadette Owens was also told by Sergeant James O'Sullivan the man was currently serving a six-month sentence for assault and criminal damage and was due for release on August 10.
Suzanne Dooner, BL, defending, said Mr Quinn was originally from Athlone and had a difficult upbringing, going into care when he was 12.
He had serious addiction issues, including an addiction to benzodiazepines and the offences related to his addiction.
He had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the Birr offences but he was now clean from drugs in prison.
The father of an 18-month-old daughter, he apologised for what he had done, had gone into custody voluntarily and accepted he was completely out of line.
Judge Owens said Mr Quinn was lucky the matter had remained in the District Court because it was a very serious matter. The gardai had been carrying out their proper duty at the time and the court would have serious concerns if they could not do so.
She took into account that Mr Quinn had pleaded guilty to the charges and that he had been in custody but she also had to take into account the seriousness of the offences, hence the nine-month sentence.
Judge Owens backdated the sentence to February 22 last. Recognisances were fixed for an appeal, on the defendant's own bond of €250 and an independent surety of €750, with €500 to be lodged.