Thursday 21 November 2019

Man who produced revolver to binman in rubbish collection dispute avoids jail

Philip Nolan (46) handed bullet to 18-year-old Craig Palmer
Philip Nolan (46) handed bullet to 18-year-old Craig Palmer

Sonya McLean

A man who produced a revolver and handed a bullet to a refuse collector over a dispute about the collection of his bins has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

Philip Nolan (46) was living in the family home in Fairlawn Road in Finglas when 18-year-old Craig Palmer was in the estate collecting rubbish as part of his job with Oxigen.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced the accused to three years in prison but suspended it in full and ordered him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three years.

The judge said Nolan had “his own problems” but that he had gone too far and had aggressively threatened the bin man.

Detective Garda John Harrington said Nolan approached the bin lorry and complained that his rubbish hadn’t been collected. The driver looked through the list and confirmed that Nolan’s address was not on it.

Mr Palmer noticed this interaction and saw Nolan walk away before he re-appeared holding a gun.

Det Gda Harrington told Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, that Nolan then handed a bullet to Mr Palmer and ordered that he gave it to the driver. He then decided he would give the bullet to the man himself and took it back off the teenager.

Nolan walked up towards the lorry again but turned back and handed the bullet back to Mr Palmer telling him, “Make sure you collect all the bins in the area. Don’t give me this Oxygen bollix.”

Nolan of Berryfield Drive in Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intimidation and production of a revolver on December 27, 2012.

He has 30 previous convictions including a six year jail term in 1988 for serious bodily harm handed down in December 1988.

Mr Palmer reported the incident to gardaí and handed in the bullet. Nolan’s home was later searched and a gun was found in a jacket.

Det Gda Harrington confirmed that the gun was a .32 calibre humane killer revolver often licenced to veterinary surgeons. It was found to be in poor condition and incapable of being loaded. The bullet was not compatible with the gun.

The detective agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that the council removed Nolan from his address, which had been the family home for 46 years, following the incident.

He accepted that Nolan’s mother and father had died, as had his son and two of his brothers, while another brother had been murdered earlier that year.

Counsel said his client was struggling to come to terms with his “enormous grief” and had spent most of the Christmas break that year taking a lot of non-prescribed medication.

Mr Bowman said it was a poorly judged incident and Nolan had made no attempt to disguise himself and had freely given his address. He said Nolan has not come to garda attention since.

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