Tuesday 19 November 2019

Dad who threatened to kill officers held for 'safety concerns'

Majella O'Sullivan and Simon Brouder

A FATHER of one convicted of threatening to kill two gardai has been remanded in custody because of "serious concerns" for the safety of the gardai.

Jamie Casey (29), of Balloonagh Estate, Tralee, Co Kerry, was convicted by a 10-2 majority of making death threats to two members of the gardai at Tralee garda station on August 18, 2010 and again at Tralee courthouse on October 13 that year.

Yesterday, following over two hours of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men found him not guilty of threatening to kill a third member of the gardai on October 13, 2010.

Throughout the trial at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court, Casey had pleaded his innocence and claimed gardai had told "a pack of lies".

Sgt Ernie Henderson, who was leading the investigation, said gardai were objecting to bail on the basis of serious concerns about the safety of the gardai involved in the case.

During the course of the trial, Gda Patrick Naughton told how he was living in fear, following a threat by Casey that he would "burn his house with his family in it". He said: "I took those threats seriously. I could see the anger in his eyes. I moved out of my rented house and took different routes to and from work, and never went the same route."

The other threat was made to Gda Donal Daly at the district court when the judge asked him to remove Casey from the courtroom because he was being disruptive.

Gda Daly said Casey became physically violent and "lashed out" with his head and legs. Outside the courtroom, he looked directly at him and said: "I'll get you, you c**t. If you think you've seen vicious, you've not seen vicious yet. I'll get you, you pig, I swear on my child's life. Tralee is a small place, you wait and see."

Casey had claimed gardai used unreasonable force, and that Gda Naughton had thrown hot tea in his face, claims prosecuting barrister Tom Rice dismissed as "laughable".

Brian McInerney, defending, said gardai had "awesome" power, but this could get out of control if not controlled. He said gardai were trying to "put the boot into" his client. "We don't hang our own, we look after our own. That's what happens in the gardai," he said.

Judge Carroll Moran remanded Casey in custody until March 7 for sentencing.

Irish Independent

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