herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Man claimed knife was for his own protection

A CAR passenger who dropped an army knife on the ground when stopped by gardai, claimed he had it for his own protection.

Barry Walsh (27) claimed his life was under threat at the time.

His solicitor said Walsh first got into trouble the night of his Leaving Certificate results, he went into custody for a time and his drink and drug problem "spiralled" after that.

Ordering Walsh to complete 200 hours community service instead of five months in prison, Judge David McHugh described the defendant as "no innocent".

The judge said the weapon was a "particularly fierce instrument which had a knife and a hatchet".

Walsh, of Huntstown Rise in Mulhuddart, had admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to possession of a knife at Wellview Grove in Mulhuddart on October 30, 2014

Garda Conor Leen said he stopped a vehicle which was acting suspiciously. The defendant got out of the passenger seat and dropped a knife.

The garda said Walsh told him he had the weapon for his own protection. Gda Leen said the weapon was similar to a Swiss army knife.

Defence solicitor John O'Doherty Walsh had problems with drink and drugs in the past but was now clean and back living with his family.

He said the defendant was playing football, going to the gym and staying out of trouble.

At the time of the offence, Mr O'Doherty said the defendant's life was under threat and gardai were aware of this.

He also said Walsh's problems started the night of his Leaving Certificate results when he was arrested for alleged criminal damage. The charge was later struck out but Walsh went into custody for a time and his problems "spiralled".

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