| 13.4°C Dublin

Barber led hooded gang for 3am fight

A TRAINEE barber led a gang of 10 hooded men to a family's front door before inviting members outside for a fight in the early hours of the morning, a court heard.

Niall Walsh (20) turned up outside the frightened family's house and demanded they send one of their brothers out to fight him over allegations about a stolen car.

Dublin District Court heard the siblings' mother was away in Spain and they were forced to tell her what happened when glass in the front door was broken.

Walsh, of Cairnwood Court, Tallaght, was found guilty of trespass and causing a breach of the peace in the incident on July 25, 2010.



SHOUT

The accused had denied the charges. He admitted asking one of the young men for a fight, but said it was over allegations that Walsh had stolen a phone. He denied entering the garden during the incident.

Jessica Twyford told the court she was at home at Meadows West, Belgard Heights at 3am, having returned from a gig, when she heard the doorbell.

Her younger brother answered it and she heard him shout, "call the guards". She saw Walsh in the garden, asking for a fight with her brother. Walsh was saying her brother had accused him of stealing a car.

Other members of the group were inside and outside the garden. The accused initially said he wanted to fight her brother Robert and then said he would fight either of the brothers.



STICK

She recognised Walsh immediately as she had known him since he was four years old. The gang retreated when her brother Warren went out to the door with a stick. She later reported the incident to the gardai.

In evidence, Walsh said he was in the area because a friend of his was threatened when he noticed someone in the Twyford's garden and "asked for the big brother".

Judge Cormac Dunne said the appearance of the gang at the house at that hour of the morning was "unthinkable" and a "challenge to the inviolability of the home".

The court heard the incident was "completely out of character" for the accused, who had no previous convictions.

The judge adjourned the case for six months to see "how the defendant conducts himself" before deciding on a penalty.

aphelan@herald.ie