herald

Monday 19 August 2019

Dad caught with broken bottle said he took it from fighting pals

'Judge Patricia McNamara imposed a nine-month sentence.' (stock photo)
'Judge Patricia McNamara imposed a nine-month sentence.' (stock photo)

A Father caught with the broken end of a wine bottle in his pocket claimed he had taken it from his friends after they got into a fight, a court has heard.

Christopher O'Brien (31) also alleged he had been punched and suffered a split lip after he forcibly took the weapon from the men.

However, a garda gave evidence that O'Brien told him he had the weapon because he had been drinking wine.

The defendant, of Ottomy Grove, Clane, Co Kildare, was found guilty before Tallaght District Court of possession of a weapon at Killinarden Heights, Tallaght, on May 17 last year.

Judge Patricia McNamara imposed a nine-month sentence.

Garda Nevan Hartley said he went to the back entrance of the council depot following reports three men were fighting.

Gda Hartley said the fight had ended when he got there, but three men were hanging around. He said O'Brien was agitated and appeared a little intoxicated.

The garda asked O'Brien to empty his pockets and the defendant took out the broken end of a wine bottle.

Argument

Gda Hartley said O'Brien told him he had been drinking wine and had forgotten about it.

In his evidence, O'Brien said he had been drinking in an apartment and he and two others decided to go to Tallaght.

An argument broke out in the car, the men got out and they started "knocking heads".

O'Brien claimed one of the men picked up the broken wine bottle from the ground, and he then got into the middle of them and separated the fight.

He also said gardai arrived on the scene before he had time to throw the bottle in the bin.

The court heard he had 15 previous convictions, and had received a two-year sentence in 2016 for charges of threats to kill and false imprisonment.

His defence solicitor said O'Brien had two children with his ex-partner and his girlfriend was pregnant.

He said O'Brien had issues with drink and drugs in the past but was now clean.

Imposing a nine-month sentence, Judge McNamara said O'Brien said the implement looked like a "dangerous type of weapon" and the defendant was not long out of jail when the incident happened.

Recognisances were set in the event of an appeal.

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