Saturday 1 October 2016

Man convicted for threatening to kill acquaintance while stopped at traffic lights in Dublin

Sonya McLean

Published 30/06/2015 | 15:13

The Courts of Criminal Justice
The Courts of Criminal Justice

A man has been convicted of threatening to kill an acquaintance following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

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Mark Sheridan (25) of Railway Road, Clongriffin, Dublin 13, had pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Mark Jones at Feltrim Road, Kinsealy on October 20, 2013.

He had also denied charges of having a firearm and harassing Mr Jones on dates between July 1, 2013 and October 19, 2013 but the jury acquitted him of these offences. The jury returned its verdict following a four day trial.

Mr Jones told the jury that he was stopped at traffic lights and Sheridan was directly behind him in his blue Honda Accord. He said there was possibly up to six cars stopped at the lights.

Sheridan and another man got out of the Accord. Mr Jones said the other man was wearing a balaclava and had a gun in his hand. He started smacking it off the passenger side of his car.

Mr Jones told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that someone shouted “You're dead. Get out of the car” and there was a mention of a pipe bomb being thrown at his house.

He told the jury Sheridan was kicking his driver's door, punching at the window and pulling on the door handle before he said to Mr Jones, “You're dead. You're a rat.”

Mr Jones said he just sat there and asked “why” but that he “got nothing back”.

“I was scared. I thought my life was in danger. I couldn't believe it at the time. It was like something out of a TV show.”

Mr Jones said the lights turned green and he drove off, taking the long way home. He said the Honda Accord didn't follow.

He contacted gardaí the following day and later made a statement.

Mr Jones agreed with Paul Commiskey O'Keefe BL, defending, that in around May or June of that year he had a conversation with another young man in the area who accused Mr Jones of being with his girlfriend.

Mr Jones said that he had told this man he had been with his own girlfriend for a number of years at that stage and he had no reason to cheat on her.

He described this other youth as a “nervous wreck” and said he started mentioning loads of names whom he suspected may have been with his girlfriend.

Mr Jones said he had told this other youth that the girl in question had previously been seen in Sheridan's car along with one of the accused's friends.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring called investigating garda Domhnall O'Connell into the witness box following the verdict to provide the jury with more background information in relation to both men and the possible cause of their disagreement.

Gda O'Connell confirmed that the men knew each other and neither had any previous convictions.

Gda O'Connell added that gardaí have their own suspicions as to the cause of their disagreement but said there was no evidence to support this.

Judge Ring told Mr Commiskey O'Keefe that his client had been convicted of a very serious charge.

She said she had noted Mr Jones's demeanour while giving evidence and said it had been a disturbing incident for him.

Gda O'Connell confirmed that there had been no further incidents between the men and agreed with counsel that Sheridan has abided by his bail conditions.

Judge Ring remanded Sheridan on continuing bail, adjourned sentencing until July 24 and ordered a victim impact report.

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