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28 Jan 2022

Offaly man in court after threatening to 'blow the face off' his brother with shotgun

Offaly man in court after threatening to 'blow the face off' his brother with shotgun

Offaly man in court after threatening to 'blow the face off' his brother with shotgun

A THREAT to kill delivered in a WhatsApp voice message and CCTV footage of a man headbutting a garda were played at Tullamore Circuit Court last week.

The voice recording featured Timothy Duffy, Ballinlough, Clara, threatening one of his brothers and the video showed him committing the assault on the guard in the yard of his parents' residence.

The evidence was heard and seen by Judge Keenan Johnson when Mr Duffy was appealing against a 10-month sentence imposed on him in the District Court.

Counsel for Mr Duffy, Suzanne Dooner, BL (instructed by Aisling Maloney), sought an adjournment because she wished to put mitigating evidence in a report before the court at a later date relating to something which had happened the appellant during his childhood.

Judge Johnson ruled that he would hear the facts of the case after being told by Offaly state solicitor Sandra Mahon that she had garda witnesses in court along with video footage.

Garda David Harney explained that Mr Duffy, his parents and his two brothers all lived in nearby residences and the incidents which led to the man's prosecution occurred at about midnight on April 10 last when alcohol had been consumed at a party at his parents' house.

There was an altercation and Timothy Duffy was seen by his brother Charles breaking his brother Brian's bedroom window.
The headbutt on a garda occurred when the gardai were called and tried to speak to Timothy Duffy, resulting in a bruise to the officer's nose when they were going to arrest him.

Garda Harney said the WhatsApp message was sent by Timothy Duffy to Charles Duffy and the latter brother, believing it to be a credible threat, made a complaint to the gardai.

The recording was played in court and in it, Timothy Duffy could be heard referring to being “full” off his head “from taking cocaine and drink”, threatening to beat Charles Duffy “like a little child”, saying he would kill him “stone dead” and would “blow the face” off him with a shotgun.

Timothy Duffy made further remarks about his parents and his brothers and other family matters, made references to doing time in jail and said he would “break up” people around Clara.

Garda Harney also told the court the man had 57 previous convictions, including one for a threat to kill or cause serious harm, for which he was sentenced to 12 months in prison. He also had a previous conviction for the possession of drugs for supply.
Replying to Ms Dooner, Garda Harney agreed that Timothy Duffy himself had a black eye on the night of the altercation and he had subsequently signed himself into a psychiatric unit for treatment.

Mr Duffy had also attended at the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centre but was asked to leave because of an incident there and then breached the terms of his bail.

Garda Harney also agreed with Ms Dooner that between 2017 and the incident before the court there had been a hiatus in Mr Duffy's offending.

The court was also told that Charles Duffy's family moved to Cavan because of what had happened but later returned to Ballinlough.

In a victim impact statement, Charles Duffy said himself and his wife were not able to eat or sleep because of fear and he believed his brother had tried to get his hands on cartridges.

Josephine Duffy, mother of Timothy, said she had seen a major improvement in him after he attended an anger management course and he was good for doing jobs around the homeplace, especially as her husband was not well, and he would then return to his own house.

Mrs Duffy said she had not been able to get help for Timothy when he was younger and going to school but he was now getting it.

She detailed other difficulties there were in the family and stated that an issue had come up in relation to Timothy when he undertook counselling.

In his own evidence, Timothy Duffy said he was not on cocaine the night of the row with his brother and was now in counselling and on medication.

He also said being in Cloverhill Prison for a period had “nearly killed” him but it had opened his eyes and he was sorry for what he had done to the garda. He did not normally drink but he was drinking on the night of that assault.

Judge Johnson adjourned the appeal to April 6 next year on condition Mr Duffy enter a €500 peace bond, continue under the supervision of the probation service, have his urine analysed fortnightly, remain sober and continue with an anger management course.

The judge also said he wanted to have a psychiatric report for the next court date and made it a condition of the man's bail that he write letter of apology to the garda, Mr Duffy's brothers and his parents.

Judge Johnson also recommended family therapy and warned the man that if he stepped out of line at all his bail would be revoked and he would be back in court.

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