Man who sent garda death-threat letter gets 18 months
A man has been sentenced to 18 months for threatening to kill a female garda after he posted her a spent shotgun cartridge and a picture of a bloodied hand.
Conor McCaffrey (27) also rigged a roadside device by his home to trap gardai in their cars, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
McCaffrey, of Mullinasillagh, Aghacashel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, was convicted at Leitrim Circuit Criminal Court in November after he had pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill or cause harm to Detective Garda Karen Ryan on June 27, 2011.
He also denied threatening to kill or cause harm to Detective Sergeant Sean Hogan at Garda Headquarters, Harcourt Square, Dublin on June 21, 2011.
McCaffrey had also pleaded not guilty to further charges of harassing Det Gda Ryan, Det Gda Sean Walsh and Det Sgt Hogan by sending all three gardai letters and spent shotgun cartridges between June and September 2011.
McCaffrey was found guilty of threatening to kill Det Gda Ryan and acquitted of the remainder. He has 18 previous convictions including criminal damage and possession of ammunition.
Judge John O'Hagan, who passed sentence, said McCaffrey's letters revealed "a terrible hatred of An Garda Siochana".
The judge added McCaffrey believed the guards had a grudge against him, but that such a reaction was very strange.
"On one visit by gardai to his home, he had set up some weird device by the side of the road whereby the garda cars would ensnared and their tyres would be punctured. This is crazy stuff," the judge said.
He put a stay on the sentence until March 11 to allow McCaffrey's legal team to lodge an application for bail pending an appeal.