herald

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Man 'giggling' as he fired pellet gun out of a Dart window

Mark Byrne was said to be ‘under the influence and giggling’
Mark Byrne was said to be ‘under the influence and giggling’

A man who brandished a toy gun on a Dart train and frightened an American passenger has been given a 12-month suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mark Byrne (39) was "under the influence and giggling" when he waved the air pistol out of the Dart window on a July afternoon last year, the court heard.

The father-of-one, with an address at a homeless unit on Newtown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to possessing a realistic imitation firearm at Connolly Station last July 10.

When asked by gardai why he had bought the gun, Byrne said he got it to shoot out the back of street cars, adding that he lived at a homeless shelter and "didn't have much of a life".

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Karen O'Connor said Byrne had displayed "an extraordinary degree of immaturity" but had not intended to harm anyone.

Sorry

"I accept that he's extremely sorry and has learnt his lesson," she said.

Gda Siobhan Frisby told Marie Torrens, prosecuting, that there were three witnesses sitting across from Byrne in the Dart carriage, one of whom was an American woman travelling to Bray with her husband.

Grace Malone told gardai that she saw a man pick up orange pellets from the floor and wondered what he was doing.

The man appeared to be under the influence and shooting at someone, she said, although she did not know who.

Ms Malone said she was in fear that the man was going to shoot at her, but her husband knew immediately that it was an imitation firearm.

Gda Frisby agreed with Anne-Marie Lawlor, defending, that the gun was something "a young fella might play with" and could be bought by anyone in a toy shop.

Judge O'Connor warned Byrne that if he breached his bail conditions there would be serious consequences.

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