Saturday 24 March 2018

Man admits harassing neighbour and threatening to burn her home down, court told

Jessica Magee

A 40-year-old man who admitted harassing his neighbour and threatening to burn down her home has been ordered to stay away from the area and not to consume alcohol.

Jason White, of Sandy Hill Gardens, Ballymun, Dublin 11, is to be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for offences carried out over a three-month period in 2012.

The court heard White's former home at Doon Court, Ballymun was the centre of “extremely anti-social behaviour” and that large numbers of youths used to gather there and drink.

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

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

She said every time herself or her family left their home they were verbally abused and called “rats”.

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

Gardaí were called and the group dispersed, but later they continued throwing stones and White started shouting threats from an upstairs window of his house.

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

He also shouted, “RIP, 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 was swinging his arms and screaming in her face that he was going to get her “battered”.

Ms Hogg's daughter picked up the bottle White had been holding and thought she could smell 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 drunk a bottle of whiskey and did not remember much. He admitted making threats but denied using petrol at any stage.

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 drink for the last 18 months.

He said White has not come to garda attention since and is now living with his brother's ex-partner at Sandy Hill Gardens, Ballymun.

The court heard White has suffered from depression and that gardaí have been called to his house twice after he slit his wrists.

He is on disability allowance and had been living in the council house at Doon Court with his brother since the deaths of their parents in 2001 and 2007.

White's brother said the family are trying to get a transfer into a smaller apartment away from Doon Court.

The court heard that Ms Hogg and her family are also on a waiting list with the housing authorities to get a transfer out of the area.

Gda Lowry said that although White no longer lives at Doon Court, the problem of anti-social drinking by others has begun to creep back into the area.

Judge Patrick McCartan remanded White on continuing bail for sentencing on July 25. He ordered a probation report to be prepared and told White to remain alcohol-free and reside at his current address.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News