herald

Friday 15 December 2017

A MAN has been given a four month suspended sentence for having a combat knife strapped to his ankle while in a garda station.

A MAN has been given a four month suspended sentence for having a combat knife strapped to his ankle while in a garda station.

Derek Guildea (51) claimed he was handing the knife over to gardai and had no intention of using it in a criminal way, Balbriggan District Court has heard.

Guildea of Trimblestown, Hamlet Lane in Balbriggan, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing the combat knife at Balbriggan Garda Station on October 24 last year.

Sergeant Tony Tighe told the court that Guildea walked into the garda station and was speaking in an aggressive manner.

"He reached down to his right ankle and took out a four inch combat knife," said Sgt Tighe.

He said Garda Paul McGeough managed to stop Guildea, who has 13 previous convictions, from taking the knife out fully.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said her client instructs her that he had been having difficulties with neighbours' children banging a football off his front door.

Guildea had called the gardai and claimed when they saw the knife in his house they told him he should not have it.

"He was bringing it to the station to hand it in," said Ms D'Arcy, adding that Guildea had "no intention of using it in a criminal way."

She said Guildea suffers mental health problems and is on medication after he suffered a bad fall at Christmas time.

"He is afraid for his own safety and has very little family support," said Ms D'Arcy, adding that Gildea had lost a stone in weight due to the stress of his court case. Judge Dermot Dempsey bound Guildea to the peace for two years.

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