Saturday 16 December 2017

Woman threw hunting knife over garden wall

A 36-year-old woman has been convicted of having a hunting knife while she was drunkenly roaring and shouting at a man in Sligo town last November.

Gardaí received a report of a disturbance at St Bridget's Terrace, Sligo on November 29th 2016 at 5.20pm.

Garda Noel O'Donnell and Garda Caroline Bruen went to the scene and saw Lilian Fowley throw a knife into a nearby garden.

Garda O'Donnell testified that she was "intoxicated, aggressive and denied all knowledge of the knife".

Fowley, of Innisfree Court, Tonaphubble, appeared before Judge Kevin Kilrane at Sligo District Court last Thursday to plead guilty to being drunk and disorderly but pleaded not guilty to possession of the knife.

Garda O'Donnell told the court that although it was dark the area was well lit up by two street lights.

He said there was a man at another house further up the street "roaring and shouting which may have agitated the accused."

"She wouldn't calm down. It took four Gardaí to arrest her," he said.

Under cross-examination by Mr Gerard McGovern, defending, Garda O'Donnell accepted that the accused had denied at all times that she had the knife.

"She threw the object over the wall into a pavement in the garden," he insisted.

Mr McGovern asked why the knife, which had been picked up by Garda Bruen, had not been swabbed by forensics for fingerprints or DNA.

"I saw her with my own eyes, I had no doubt," said the Garda.

Garda Bruen also testified that she saw Fowley throw a 12 inch long object in the shape of a knife into the paved garden.

"I searched the paved garden and found a knife, plastic knife holder and strap," she told Judge Kilrane.

Again, under cross-examination by Mr McGovern, Garda Bruen accepted Fowley made protestations of innocence but added that she "clearly saw her" and could not have been mistaken.

Taking the witness stand, Fowley denied ever having the knife on her.

She said another man was shouting at her and when she went down to confront him "he came out at me with a hatchet."

"I didn't see the Gardaí retrieve anything. I don't know who threw the knife away, it wasn't me," she told the judge.

Judge Kilrane said he was satisfied that Fowley's evidence was "not credible" and convicted her.

Mr McGovern said the offence was "a mystery" and "completely out of character."

"We can only speculate as to why she had the knife, but it's a nasty offence," said Judge Kilrane.

He fined her ¤200 for the knife offence, ¤100 for being abusive and intoxicated.

Sligo Champion

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