Saturday 23 February 2019

Man who held wife at gunpoint during siege gets two years

William Harton’s wife had ‘much to endure’ due to his actions. Photo: Courtpix
William Harton’s wife had ‘much to endure’ due to his actions. Photo: Courtpix

A man who threatened his wife with a knuckle-duster and pulled a gun on her while holding her inside her home has been jailed for two years.

After releasing his now ex-wife, William Harton (41) then held a stand-off with the Garda Emergency Response Unit for a further two hours, before finally giving himself up.

Harton had kicked in the door of his family home and dragged his terrified wife back inside the house when she tried to escape, before holding her there for two hours, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Sentencing him to two years' imprisonment, Judge Martin Nolan said Harton's wife had "much to endure" as a result of his actions.

"To imprison someone against their will for that period of time is a terrifying experience," Judge Nolan said.

He noted that Harton had since relocated to Co Wexford and it might be "better for everybody" if he remained there following his release from jail.

Harton, formerly of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of falsely imprisoning Amy Harton at her home in Sandyford on February 16 last year.


He also pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm and possession of cocaine on the same date.

Garda Brian Davin told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the Hartons had marriage difficulties and Ms Harton, a mother-of-three, had taken out a barring order against him.

On the evening of February 13, 2017, Harton breached the barring order by entering the family home. He was drunk and under the influence of drugs, the court heard, and accused Ms Harton of being in a relationship with one of his friends.

Three days later, Ms Harton was at home alone at 11.30am when Harton kicked in the front door. The victim managed to slip by him into the front garden, but Harton dragged her back into the house.

A neighbour witnessed the incident and the victim screamed at them to call gardai.

Harton produced a handgun, which his ex-wife recognised as an imitation firearm that belonged to her son. He accused her of dating other men and ordered her to unlock her mobile phone for him. He then produced a knuckle-duster and put it up to her face.

During the stand-off with gardai, Harton swallowed a large number of pills and took cocaine, the court heard.

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