herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Dog owner left bleeding with several teeth missing after being hit with his own fake gun

Gardai have appealed for witnesses
Gardai have appealed for witnesses

A DOG owner left his home with an imitation handgun to scare off a gang of youths and their pitbull, but they saw it was a child's toy, took it off him and pistol-whipped him with it.

Robert Shevlin (37) was left bleeding and with several teeth missing after the confrontation backfired and he came off "much the worse for it".

Judge Ann Ryan applied the probation act.

Shevlin, of North Circular Road, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a realistic imitation firearm at North Strand Road last May 27.

Dublin District Court heard gardai received a report that a man had a firearm in a disturbance near Newcomen Bridge.

They called to Shevlin's home and spoke to him before finding the imitation firearm under his bed.

He told gardai there had been an issue with youths outside his house and he went inside and put the imitation firearm into the waistband of his trousers.

He denied producing it, but it was seen by a passer-by.

Shevlin told gardai he was assaulted by the youths and suffered injuries to his mouth.

On examining the gun, gardai found it was a realistic replica but not a viable firearm.

Shevlin's friend had been walking his dog outside when a gang of youths arrived and wanted his dog to fight their pitbull, his barrister said.

"He was afraid their dog would hurt his dog. He wanted to protect his dog and foolishly thought he could scare them with a child's air pistol," the lawyer added. "He thought if the worst came to the worst he could make a bang and scare the pit bull."

It was an airsoft gun bought in Moore Street for €18.

"He confronted them and the confrontation went very badly for him," counsel said. "They recognised it was a children's air pistol. He was hit over the head with it and lost a number of teeth and was bleeding."

The court heard the gun was never pointed at anyone or discharged.

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