A man who went on a rampage in Tralee Post office on Edward Street “frightening the good people of Tralee on a sunny day” has received suspended sentence from nine offences relating to the events on the day in question.
Judge Helen Boyle described the events which occurred on June 5, 2020 as a “sequence of bizarre and scary behaviour” that distressed the public going about their business on that day.
The court heard that David Kiarie entered the post office on Edward Street in Tralee with a can of Heineken which he smashed and then proceeded to damage the perspex windows in place and ripped a computer from the counter putting the staff who worked there in fear.
Members of the public came to their aid. Two men who attempted to ease the situation were assaulted by Mr Kiarie though they received no physical injuries.
He then left the post office and moved towards the Railway Station and on route he damaged cars including one with a child in it. He then attempted to enter a car stopped at the traffic lights and told the female driver to drive. She was upset but managed to push him out of the car and she flagged down a garda van. Mr Kiarie was ultimately arrested.
The court heard that the driver of the car had attended court but did not give evidence while other victims of the incident were shaken, angry and frightened by the what had happened. One of the victims feared that she would be hurt.
The two men that had attempted to help “acted courageously” said Judge Boyle.
The incident arose when Mr Kiarie had a break-down after an issue arose and he didn’t get to visit his daughter on her birthday and he went to the town park drinking.
David Kiarie with an address of 10 Ash Close, Ballydribbeen, Killarney, was before Killarney Circuit Court, for sentencing arising out of nine offences from the day including criminal damage, stealing property, the unlawful taking of an MPV, three assault charges and a public order offence. He pleaded guilty to the offences and paid €500 compensation for the damage caused.
Barrister for the state, Tom Rice, said that the case has been adjourned after evidence was heard for a psychiatric report. The court also heard that Mr Kiarie ahs been convicted in the interim of offences in Cork where he trespassed on a property and put a person in fear. He received a three month suspended sentence. BL Rice explained that Mr Kiarie was on bail at the time from the Circuit Court in relation to the Edward Street incident.
Mr Rice said that after Mr Kiarie was arrested Garda expressed concerns about this mental health. He was deemed unfit to be questioned.
Barrister Katie O’Connell, representing Mr Kiarie, said that the probation report was ‘favourable’ for Mr Kiarie who she said was now in full employment.
She said he has showed remorse and embarrassment at his actions. She said he has a history of substance abuse on the back of mental issues.
Ms O’Connell said her client had attempted to get the recommended psychiatric report but could not do so. He had engaged a psychiatrist who wanted payment upfront which was not possible given that Mr Kiarie is on legal aid. This was explained to the psychiatrist but he left the service in the meantime and the next appointment that her client can get with a professional is September 13.
A GP report in court explains that Mr Kiarie is on medication and suffers from depression and other mental health conditions.
"When taking medication he can function but there are times when not taking medication that he becomes confused … I am pleading not to jail him I don’t think custody would do him any good,” said Ms O’Connell.
Judge Helen Boyle handed down a two-year suspended sentence on each of the first five counts including the theft, criminal damage and unlawful taking of an MPV. He also received three four month suspended sentences for count six to eight which included the assault charges.