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Judge slates DPP over gun waving case

A JUDGE has described as "unbelievable" a decision by the DPP that the case of a man who allegedly brandished a gun in a crowded pub should be dealt with as a minor offence in the courts.

The accused, Gerard Sheridan (48), allegedly loaded the handgun before waving it around at the bar in north Dublin.

The DPP had consented to summary disposal of the case at District Court level, however, Judge Cormac Dunne refused jurisdiction to deal with it after hearing an outline of the allegations.

He ruled that the case is too serious to be heard in the District Court and adjourned it for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Sheridan, with an address at Riverside Park, Coolock, appeared in Dublin District Court charged with one count of possession of a black handgun and "pointing it at persons present in a public house".

The offence is alleged to have happened at Liz Delaney's Pub, Northside Shopping Centre, on August 30 last.

The charge is contrary to Section 9 (5) of the Offensive Weapons Act.

JURISDICTION

A garda sergeant told the court the DPP was directing summary disposal of the case.

This meant it could be heard in the District Court subject to a judge accepting jurisdiction to hear it.

Judge Dunne asked for a summary of the allegations so he could consider this.

The court heard it would be alleged that the accused walked into the pub while other patrons were present, produced a gun and loaded it.

Sheridan then allegedly waved it around before leaving.

The gun was never recovered, the court was told.

Judge Dunne said it was "unbelievable" that the DPP considered the case suitable to be dealt with in the District Court, where the maximum sentence on conviction on the charge is 12 months.

He refused jurisdiction and adjourned the case to May 16, for the preparation of a book of evidence.

The case will then be sent to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has greater sentencing powers on conviction.

Sheridan was remanded on continuing bail.

APHELAN@HERALD.IE


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