'I've done life in prison for those RUC bastards what are you going to do to me'

Kevin Hughes

A 44-YEAR-OLD man who claimed he knew Martin McGuinness and asked a Cahersiveen garda if he knew what a bomb was, has been sentenced to five months in prison following an appearance at the district court.

Paul Ferguson, listed at 8 Fertha Drive, was further accused of calling Garda Michael McCarthy "a racist bastard" and taunted him stating. "I've done life in prison for those RUC bastards, what are you going to do to me".

Mr Ferguson is charged with threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour, failure to comply with gardaí and disorderly conduct relating to events at Cahersiveen Garda Station on December 12, 2012.

An incident arose after Mr Ferguson attended the station at approximately 1pm to process his passport but could not do so as he did not have all required documentation. "I'll be back and you'll get what's coming to you," the defendant subsequently warned.

Returning at 1.25pm with photographs, the application still couldn't be processed, sparking the accused to claim that he knew Martin McGuinness and accuse the garda of being racist and corrupt, adding that he was "just like all the other bastards here".

Mr Ferguson then warned that he would "beat the head off" Garda McCarthy, pushed in the public counter hatch in the garda station and gestured at the garda to "come on" whilst making further abusive comments.

After leaving in his car, the defendant was then accused of stopping the vehicle to face Garda McCarthy and motioned to take down numbers in the garda car park before warning: "I'll see you soon". He then drove off on the wrong side of the road and without indicating, it was claimed.

The court heard that Mr Ferguson had been bound to the peace at Killarney Circuit Court for 12 months on November 29, 2011, and had 55 pervious convictions in the North between 1986 and 1995.

Solicitor Pádraig O'Connell handed in a psychiatric report at the start of the hearing and said his client had been extremely stressed at the time as his daughter who resides in England had threatened suicide.

He also thought that he had all documentation required to attain his passport, the court further heard.

"He accepts that he does not know Martin McGuinness, has not served time and the RUC references are incorrect," the solicitor stated, adding that Mr Ferguson had been "ranting and in a fit of rage" at the time.

Mr O'Connell said he had not raised the fact that previous convictions referred to had related to a different jurisdiction and stated that there had been insufficient evidence concerning a charge of careless driving which was subsequently struck out.

It was claimed that Mr Ferguson had left a message at Cahersiveen Garda Station to offer his apologies to Garda McCarthy - this was denied by Garda McCarthy.

Mr O'Connell added that Mr Ferguson was receiving ongoing counselling that is proving successful and was receiving strong support from his partner. It was also revealed that Mr Ferguson was being weaned off a large amount of anti-depression drugs and had made huge progress.

Judge O'Connor then convicted Mr Ferguson on two counts, sentencing him to a total of five months imprisonment. Two independent sureties of €2,500 were fixed in the event of an appeal, dropped to €2,000 each following a request by Mr O'Connell.