Tuesday 16 January 2018

Youth walked city streets with imitation shotgun

Dublin District Court

A YOUNG man arrested for carrying an imitation shotgun through Dublin city centre was trying to see how long he could walk around with it before gardai stopped him, a court heard.

Armed officers were called in to take the "realistic" fake gun from Eoin Berkley (21).

Judge Bryan Smyth gave him a nine-month suspended sentence at Dublin District Court.

Berkley, of Hamptonwood Way, Finglas pleaded guilty to possession of a realistic imitation firearm at North Earl Street on November 7, 2013.

Gda John Saunderson said he was on patrol at 12.30am and responded to a report that a man was in the street with what was believed to be a shotgun.

He saw the accused walking in North Earl Street in possession "of what we believed to be a firearm".

It was seized and examined by ballistics experts who found it was "a realistic imitation firearm". Berkley was arrested and interviewed at Store Street Garda Station, where he gave no reasonable explanation.

Gda Saunderson said the fake gun was capable of firing "airsoft" pellets, but there was nothing in it at the time.

Defence barrister Rory Staines said the explanation offered was that "he wanted to see how long he could go around in town with it before he was apprehended by the gardai".

Judge Smyth read a psychological report on the accused.

"Clearly Mr Berkley is somebody who has serious issues that he has to deal with," the judge said.

Berkley was now in a relationship which had been a positive influence on him.

Suspending the sentence for a year, the judge said Berkley was lucky he had not been sent to the Circuit Court.

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