Dundalk District Court
An 18-year-old man who made a threat to shoot a garda, both in person and in a Snapchat message, has been sentenced to three months at Dundalk district court.
Ciarán Nugent, Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, admitted without lawful excuse, making to a garda a threat to kill or cause him serious harm, on September 8th last at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda.
Sgt Michael Parry Jones gave evidence that the defendant was in a group of youths when he directed a threat to another officer that he ‘should be shot in the head’.
He was asked to repeat what he said and replied, ‘He should have a bullet left in his head’.
The teenager then fled on foot before being intercepted a short distance away.
Sgt Parry Jones outlined how a mobile phone was located when the teenager was searched.
It contained a Snapchat message, sent at the same time as the incident, which read, ‘I’m sick of them. I told him I’d put a bullet in his head’.
He was asked to account for the message and failed to do so.
During cross examination, Sgt Parry Jones accepted the Defence solicitor’s submission that it was an "act of ridiculous bravado" by the 17 year old who had been in custody since the incident.
The solicitor said his client had learned a very significant lesson and was very apologetic.
He added: "The hurt in this part of the country by such a threat is very real."
Judge John Brennan said this was clearly a very serious matter "with what’s going on in Drogheda" and it was aggravated by the threat being repeated in a message "which shows a level of intent".
He acknowledged there was an element of bravado and noted the defendant had just turned 18 and had pleaded guilty.
The judge added the teen had already received some punishment and had lost his grandmother in the meantime.
He said he was satisfied the defendant should be given one chance and didn’t propose a further period of custody.
He imposed a three months sentence, backdated to the date of the offence when Ciaran Nugent went into custody.
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