An Iranian man who threatened to shoot, and chop the head off a member of Louth County Council’s homeless team, was last week given a two year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court, which was sitting in Drogheda.
Hojatullah Surkahrezi (50) with an address at Greenhills Industrial Estate, Drogheda pleaded guilty to harassing the official on September 12th and 13th 2019.
The sentencing hearing last Tuesday heard the victim was working in the council offices on Fair Street, Drogheda on September 12th 2019, when the defendant arrived with his elderly mum and told the official he lived where he worked and wanted her to be moved to Drogheda from emergency accommodation in a hotel in Dundalk, to save him having to commute to see her.
The housing official told him if there was space available in Drogheda, they would get her transferred but he told gardai the defendant “absolutely lost it” when the victim told him he wasn’t responsible for his mother.
He said the mechanic made hand gestures pretending to shoot him and told him ”You don’t know who you’re dealing with” and threatened to chop his head off.
He slammed the door as he left with his mother, taking the door off the hinges and called the defendant minutes later.
Numerous texts followed that evening with messages claiming he knew where the official lived and that he’d sold him to the Mafia in Eastern Europe.
The victim, who has since retired, was off sick from work for a number of weeks and afterwards was based out of one office instead of traveling between the two in Dundalk and Drogheda.
After his arrest, the defendant, who had one previous conviction, a nine-month suspended sentence for assault causing harm, denied making gun gestures or threatening language.
The court heard he had written a letter of apology while the Defence barrister said “the red mist had descended” for his client, who was motivated by the difficulties his mother was experiencing, having no English and being isolated in a hotel room.
He added his client has lived in Ireland since 2006 and suffers from depression and from PTSD having witnessed ‘extreme atrocities’ during tank combat in the Iran/Iraq war.
Judge Patrick Quinn imposed a two-year suspended sentence on condition that he has no contact with the victim, or any member of his family and that he stays away from the housing section of Louth County Council.
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