Man angry at juvenile delinquency chases youths with chainsaw
22/04/2010 – 14:29:48
A man who was so frustrated with juvenile delinquency in his neighbourhood that he tried to scare off some youths with a chainsaw has been ordered to carry out work in the community in lieu of a jail sentence.
Patrick Mulligan (aged 50), a bus driver for children with special needs, was still holding the running chainsaw in his driveway when gardaí arrived and he waved it in the direction of garda Colin Noonan and two of his colleagues.
Mulligan of Whitechurch Avenue, Ballyboden, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the chainsaw under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act at his home on October 4, 2008. He had no previous convictions.
Garda Noonan told Ms Una Tighe BL, prosecuting, that it took a short time to convince Mulligan to put the tool down while his wife stood in the couple’s doorway in a distressed state.
He said it was clear that the accused had been drinking. Mulligan told gardaí that he had number of problems with some of the people in his neighbourhood and was concerned for his property and the bus he drove for work.
He told gardaí later that his wife could not walk down their street without “being hassled”. He said some youths had gathered outside his house that night and were interfering with his bus and he had brought out the chainsaw as tactic to scare them off.
He said he was shocked when gardaí arrived and that was why it took him some time to put the tool down.
Garda Noonan agreed with Mr Garnet Orange BL, defending, that his client was very apologetic to the gardaí during interview and co-operated with their investigation.
He accepted that Mulligan’s wife had called the gardaí because she was concerned for her husband before he further accepted that it had not been an incident of “domestic violence”.
Garda Noonan agreed with Mr Orange that Mulligan had been on antidepressants at the time and the medication did not mix well with the alcohol he had taken that night.
Mr Orange told garda Noonan that his client wanted to express his apologies for “any action that he engaged in that might have been perceived as a threat to you and or your colleagues”.
He told judge Katherine Delahunt that there had been a problem with “juvenile delinquency” in the area, involving “keying of cars and damage to both vehicles and property”.
He said his client had been concerned for his and his family’s personal safety and that of his property but added that Mulligan had “completely lost the head and acted in an irrational manner”.
Mulligan had €500 in court to offer the gardaí as a token of his remorse which garda Noonan said he would pass onto the Garda Benevolent Fund.
Judge Delahunt ordered Mulligan to carry out 100 hours community service in lieu of a two-year sentence after telling him that had not been for the “very fair evidence” of garda Noonan, and the manner in which he had met the case, he would be going to jail.
“Garda Noonan has underplayed what must have been a very terrifying experience for both him and his colleagues,” Judge Delahunt said before she noted that she had also taken into account that Mulligan was 50 years old and had not come to garda attention.
She said she was also taking into consideration the fact he may lose his job due to his conviction and said that in itself would be “a very significant penalty to suffer”.