Trainee nurse caught with knife at petrol station
A TRAINEE nurse caught with a carving knife outside a petrol station said he had it for protection as he thought he was being "picked on" by three other men due to a drug-fuelled bout of paranoia.
David Meaney (30) had also just broken up with his long-term girlfriend, and had been drinking and smoking cannabis with a friend. A judge struck out the charge.
The defendant, of Windsor Terrace in Sandycove, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to public drunkenness and possession of a knife.
The incident took place at the Topaz garage, Ulverton Road, Dalkey, at 4.30am on December 19 last year.
Garda Sergeant Peadar McCann said gardai received a complaint about a man acting suspiciously at the Topaz garage.
Sgt McCann said gardai searched Meaney and found a carving knife with a 4in blade concealed in his jacket.
The sergeant said the defendant, who was under the influence of drink and cannabis, told gardai he had the weapon for his own protection.
The court heard Meaney has no previous convictions.
Defence lawyer Brian Storan said Meaney worked for a number of years as a carer, and was training to be a nurse when he was hit by a car in March 2009.
Mr Storan said the defendant suffered serious spinal injuries, was in a neck brace for four months, and subsequently lost his job.
On the night in question, Mr Storan said, Meaney was with a friend and he was upset as he had just broken up with his girlfriend of nine years.
The lawyer said Meaney was drinking and smoking cannabis.
He had been involved in a verbal altercation with three others, and he had the knife for his own protection as, in a bout of paranoia he felt he was being picked on.
Mr Storan said Meaney didn't remember the incident, but had co-operated fully with gardai, and was very apologetic for his behaviour.
Judge Ann Ryan acknowledged Meaney's medical problems and she left him without a conviction.