Farmhand avoids jail after scaring men with boar
A FARM worker who helped his employer subject two repossession men to a terrifying ordeal – during which they were ordered to strip naked and get into a pen with an agitated boar – has avoided a jail term.
Marin Danci (25), a Romanian national with an address at Garden Lodge Court, Devenish, Athlone, Co Westmeath, pleaded guilty 12 months ago to threatening to kill or seriously harm the two repossession men at the pig farm of Donal Connaughton in Newtowncashel, Co Longford on April 29, 2010.
He was yesterday handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and 200 hours community service at Longford Circuit Court.
Patrick Mulvey and Justin Tighe, employees of a Dun Laoghaire-based repossession company called Assets Security, had called to Connaughton's pig farm to take away a generator and two power-washers after arrears had arisen.
A scuffle took place in the yard at the pig farm during which Mr Mulvey and Mr Tighe said they were assaulted.
Connaughton ordered them to strip and get into the pen with an agitated boar and they feared they were going to be violated by the animal.
The two men had pleaded to be let go and promised that they would never return to the premises, but Donal Connaughton said he wanted to "teach them a lesson".
The pair were told to strip naked and they would be allowed walk out of the yard and when they refused Connaughton made them get down on their knees and say the 'Our Father' before they were allowed exit on foot, leaving their truck behind.
Connaughton (54) from Elfeet, Newtowncashel in south Co Longford, was found guilty by a jury before Christmas of two counts of false imprisonment, two charges of threatening to cause serious harm, one count of assault and two of criminal damage.
In February the court had heard that Danci worked 12 to 14-hour days and received little pay.
Garda Peter Mullen said that Danci arrived at Lanesboro garda station on New Year's Eve in 2011 with "only a few cents" on him and claimed that he had been paid little or nothing over the preceding months.
"He was put out on the road," said Garda Mullen, who said that emergency accommodation was found by the HSE for Danci. Sentencing was adjourned until yesterday.
Judge Tony Hunt said it appeared to him that Danci had acted under the general influence or specific direction of his employer.
Donal Connaughton was also due to be sentenced yesterday but the court was told that he now had new legal representation and Judge Hunt agreed to adjourn sentence until next month. He warned: "There will be no more 'Lanigan's Ball'".