herald

Friday 15 December 2017

a Polish man who had a toy gun which was a gift for his nephew was pinned to the ground by a bus driver who believed it was real, a court has heard.

a Polish man who had a toy gun which was a gift for his nephew was pinned to the ground by a bus driver who believed it was real, a court has heard.

Garda Christopher Kelly said he and two colleagues had been called to the scene by the driver who had followed Rafal Wojciechowski (47) and restrained him with other members of the public.

The bus driver had thought the plastic orange and black gun, which was shown in court, was real and phoned emergency services.

Wojciechowski, of Dorset Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing an imitation firearm at Cavendish Road on June 28, 2014. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan commented that Wojciechowski had "behaved in an idiotic fashion" by pointing the toy gun at bystanders and imposed a six month suspended sentence.

Gda Kelly told the court that the bus driver had been walking towards the Summerhill Depot when he spotted Wojciechowski with what he thought was a revolver.

Another witness later recalled that the gun had an orange bit sticking out of the barrel and looked fake.

Gda Kelly said Wojciechowski appeared intoxicated as he was being restrained on the ground and claimed "it was a joke."

In a subsequent interview he told gardaí that he had bought the gun in a €2 shop for his nephew and had taken it out to look at it.

Gda Kelly agreed with Vincent Heneghan BL, defending, that the gun was "clearly a toy".

He further agreed that the case had come so far through the court system because a District Court judge had refused jurisdiction.

Mr Heneghan submitted to Judge Nolan that his client had been in Ireland about eight years, had worked odd jobs as a gardener and had little English.

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