Wednesday 1 March 2017

Man convicted of attempted murder who chased people while armed with knives given suspended sentence

Fiona Ferguson

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A man with a conviction for attempted murder who was caught chasing a group of people while armed with knives has been given a suspended sentence.

Michael Brennan (29) was given the three year suspended sentence in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today on condition that he enter into a residential treatment program for drug addiction.

Brennan of Almayne Park South, Balgriffin, Dublin pleaded guilty to possession of a knife at Cromcastle Drive, Kilmore on January 7, 2016.

The court previously heard he chased a group of people to a parked car and appeared to be attempting to open the door or stab the car when gardai ordered him to drop the knives.

The incident had arisen out of a family dispute. Brennan was suffering a relapse into drug addiction at the time.

He has 67 previous convictions including attempted murder, intimidation of a witness and threats to kill. He was released in May 2015 from the ten-year attempted murder sentence imposed in 2007.

Defence counsel, Sandra Frayne BL, previously told the court that Brennan had spent most of his adult life in prison and had been released without any support structures in place.

She said the probation report was positive but noted he was at a high risk of re-offending due to his previous record and drug addiction. She said Brennan was now making efforts to put structures in place in relation to issues such as rehabilitation and accommodation.

Judge Melanie Greally accepted that the incident occurred in the midst of a dispute, but said Brennan “has to be particularly careful in terms of how he responds to particular incidents”.

“He is somebody who comes before the court with serious convictions indeed,” she said.

However, Judge Greally said a probation services report showed Brennan had developed insight into what caused him to offend and that his best chance of rehabilitation liay in getting treatment for his drug addiction.

She handed down a three-year sentence but suspended it on a number of conditions, including that he complete a residential drug treatment program and remain under probation service supervision for 18 months.

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