Jail for cleaner who was armed with meat cleaver in 'street fight'
A cleaner who allegedly got into a fight with another man while armed with a meat cleaver has been jailed for six months.
Dariusz Spiewak (36) had denied having the cleaver, and claimed he was only talking to a man walking his dog when armed detectives swooped.
Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted Spiewak and sentenced him to six months in prison.
The defendant, of New Haven Bay, Balbriggan, was found guilty before Swords District Court of possession of a meat cleaver.
The incident happened at Brackenwood Drive, Balbriggan, last January 5.
An allegation that Spiewak had a canister of pepper spray was dismissed as gardai were unable to prove the chain of evidence.
Gda Megan O'Brien said she was on patrol when gardai received a call about two men fighting, one of whom was armed with a cleaver.
Gda O'Brien said she went to the scene and, as she app-roached the men, Spiewak discarded the weapon under a nearby car.
She seized it, and Spiewak denied any knowledge of it.
In his evidence, Spiewak said he was walking home from his sister's house and had stopped to speak with a fellow Polish man, who was out walking his dog.
He claimed the pair spoke briefly, and were still talking when gardai arrived and arr- ested him.
Spiewak also denied he had been in a fight with the other man, and claimed the first time he had seen the cleaver was in court.
Under cross-examination, Spiewak said he was not carrying the weapon, even though the garda had given evidence that she had seen him discarding it.
Judge Dempsey found Spiewak guilty of having a cleaver.
The court heard the defendant had eight previous convictions, most recently for burglary.
He also had a number of foreign convictions for burglary.
Defence lawyer Deirdre Flannery accepted that Spiewak had a criminal record in Poland, but claimed that his behaviour had improved since he had come to Ireland.
Ms Flannery said Spiewak had a good work history as a cleaner. Recognisances were set in the event of an appeal.