Thursday 23 November 2017

Man who pointed realistic imitation gun at driver 'reacted out of fatigue due to long working hours and baby not sleeping'

He has avoided a jail sentence

Gun (Stock Image PA)
Gun (Stock Image PA)

Fiona Ferguson

A Latvian man who pointed a realistic imitation firearm at a member of the public after driving aggressively behind him has avoided a jail sentence.

The court heard Alesandrs Rodjukovs (36) had reacted out of fatigue due to working long hours and a baby who was not sleeping, in the “once off” incident which terrified his victim.

Rodjukovs, of Mall House, Kilbush Lane, Rush, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to producing a realistic firearm at Lower Main Street Rush on March 7, 2015.

Judge Karen O'Connor said Rodjukovs had much tragedy and sorrow in his background. She noted he suffers from illness due to exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster.

She also noted he had been injured in a “horrendous” car accident as a four-year-old, in which his mother was killed. His father, who had been driving, was prosecuted and jailed. Rodjukovs spent his early years in the care of his grandparents.

She said that in the months prior to this offence Rodjukovs had lost three close relatives.

Judge O'Connor said he had an impressive work background and had been in ill health. She noted the court heard he would not re-offend. She said it appeared to be a “once off incident” and imposed an 18 month sentence which she suspended in full on strict conditions.

Garda Gerard Maloney told Marie Torrens BL, prosecuting, that a man driving home towards Lusk on the night noticed a car driving very close behind him and flashing its lights.

The man's girlfriend gestured to the car behind them to slow down and they put on their hazard lights but the car continued to drive aggressively. He decided to take evasive action and pulled into a parking area.

The court heard Rodjukovs got out of his car, ran up to the man, pulled out a gun and cocked it. The gun was pointed in the man's face and he was terrified, thinking he would be shot. Rodjukovs then returned to his car and fled.

The man's girlfriend had noted the car's registration plate. Gardai later recovered a blank firing semi automatic pistol from his car.

Analysis of the weapon showed it was not capable of firing bullets. He told gardai he had brought it back from Latvia.

Rodjukovs was very co-operative with gardai and made full admissions. He said he had been very tired at the time, having worked two ten hour shifts with five hours sleep between them. He also had young children and a baby who had not been sleeping.

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