Sunday 22 October 2017

Man who threatened to burn down home and 'take out' family jail

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

By Jessica Magee and Declan Conlon

A 40-year-old man who admitted harassing his neighbour and threatening to burn down her home has avoided jail.

Jason White who is currently living with his sister at Sandy Hill Gardens, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Central Criminal Court to offences carried out over a three-month period in 2012.

Judge Patrick McCartan suspended a six month jail sentence for two years.

White had agreed not to return to his former home in Doon Court, Ballymun. The court heard that large numbers of youths used to drink at the house leading to “extremely anti-social behaviour”.

He admitted harassing mother-of-three Jacqueline Hogg at Doon Court between St Patrick's Day and July 7, 2012 and also threatening to damage her house on the second date.

Garda Ciara Lowry previously told Melanie Greally BL, prosecuting, that Ms Hogg lived in a “constant state of fear and intimidation”.

She said every time a family member left home they were verbally abused and called “rats”.

On June 23, 2012, a group of youths were drinking in the archway and bricks and stones were thrown towards Ms Hogg's house.

Later White started shouting threats from an upstairs window of his house.

“There's going to be killings tonight,” he told Ms Hogg's daughter, before saying: “I'll take you out; your Ma, your Da and your brother.”

He also shouted, “RIP. Your Da's a dead man and I'll slice your brother's throat.”

On July 7, 2012, a crowd gathered again to drink in White's garden. Ms Hogg and her partner David Keogh saw White near their letterbox with a plastic bottle. He banged on their door and shouted, “I'll burn you out of it.”

When Ms Hogg's daughter confronted him he screamed in her face that he was going to get her “battered”.

Ms Hogg's daughter picked up the bottle White had been holding and smelled petrol from it.

The crowd continued hurling bottles towards the house even after gardaí were called and left.

White approached the gate, exposed his rear end, stuck his two fingers up and made a motion to slit his wrists. Gardaí were called again and found the accused “very drunk and aggressive”.

White was later arrested and said he had drank a bottle of whiskey and did not remember much. He admitted making threats but denied using petrol.

A victim impact report which was not read out in court said the incidents had a “deeply disturbing” effect on Ms Hogg's quality of life.

White has 3 previous convictions including assault and criminal damage.

John Fitzgerald BL, defending, said his client had a drink problem but has been off alcohol for the last 18 months and has not come to garda attention.

Judge McCartan said that he had been impressed with White's cooperation with Probation Services but warned him not to "bother those people anymore".

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