Monday 20 November 2017

Cousins land trespass conviction after 'I'll rob you again' jibe

A MACROOM man and his cousin have been convicted of trespassing after he allegedly told a man that he "robbed his house, got away with it, and will rob him again."

Daniel O'Driscoll (18) of 2 Barrack Lane, and his cousin Tommy O'Driscoll (20) of 21 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom appeared in the town's District Court charged with trespassing onto another house in Dan Corkery Place on the night of Friday, September 7 2012.

Judge James McNulty heard the testimony of Patrick Buckley who told the court that he was in his home watching the Late Late Show with two friends when Tommy O'Driscoll knocked on his door. Mr Buckley answered, with the security chain in place on the door, and believed that Tommy O'Driscoll was on his own. It was then, he said, that Daniel O'Driscoll appeared with two dogs. Mr Buckley claimed that Daniel O'Driscoll shouted "I robbed your house and got away with it and I'll do it again."

He said that his friend also went to the door and was also verbally abused by the men. They closed the door, but the shouting and banging continued for a "good five to seven minutes," Mr Buckley said. He then called the gardai.

Defence solicitor Dan Murphy put it to Mr Buckley that three garda statements and Daniel O'Driscoll's own statement said that he had only one dog, but Mr Buckley insisted that he saw two.

Mr Murphy said that was innocent of wrong doing, and was only on the premises to drag away Tommy, who was drunk. He said that Daniel denies the comments attributed to him and that Tommy was too drunk at the time to remember the incident.

Garda O'Sullivan, who was called to the scene on the night, also took the stand and said that he only saw Daniel O'Driscoll with one dog, and that he left the scene peacefully, while Tommy was taken into custody.

In his testimony Daniel O'Driscoll said that he was sober on the night, had only one dog, and only entered Mr Buckley's premises to retrieve his cousin. He said that he was currently serving a suspended sentence and was staying out of trouble to avoid activating that sentence.

However, Judge McNulty convicted both men, and said that the number of dogs at the scene was insignificant.

Tommy O'Driscoll will appear in court again in April where the judge will consider a report on his suitability for community service.

"The most important thing a court can do is endeavour to be fair," Judge McNulty said when sentencing Daniel O'Driscoll. "It is not that long after the Circuit Court was persuaded to suspend his sentence and only eight months later he is out and about misbehaving."

"He wasn't the principal offender, and was sober, but the court is satisfied that he played a part in putting Mr Buckley and the people in his house in fear. I can imagine their terror and fright," he said.

Daniel O'Driscoll was given a conditional discharge, on the condition that he is on good behaviour for three years and stays away from and avoids contact with Patrick Buckley. He was also ordered to enter into a peace bond of €1,000, with €250 to be paid up front in cash.

"He can appeal, but if I were Daniel I wouldn't go back to the Circuit Court in a hurry," Judge McNulty concluded.


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