Threat to kill “looper” is jailed for public safety
By Finian Coghlan
A man who threatened to kill someone in jail after being sentenced was described as a “looper” in court this week (July 25) as he was escorted off to custody.
“I never got a chance...I’m totally paranoid and institutionalised...you’re going to send me back to jail and I’m going to kill someone in jail,” shouted Richard O’Connor (33), formerly of Willlow Park, but now of no fixed abode.
“Maybe, but my fear is you’re going to kill someone on the outside,” said Inspector Aidan Minnock, whose objections to O’Connor’s bail application were central to the defendant’s continued incarceration.
“I hope when you die and go to hell I’ll be there before ya. I’ll wait in hell for ya!” said O’Connor, as he made threatening gestures towards the inspector whilst being led off.
“All he is is a gee. The pr**k. See him? I hate him. Hate him with a passion,” roared O’Connor.
“If only he’d shown this personality at the start, Mr Cooney,” said Judge Seamus Hughes to O’Connor’s solicitor.
“I’ve wasted 10 minutes listening to him pretend remorse. He’s a looper. The inspector is dead right,” he added.
O’Connor was in court to face two public order charges, and one for possession of a Stanley blade, all committed in the last week in Athlone, and was hoping to be granted bail on these.
He told the court he was “totally institutionalised”, and had only been out of jail for seven months in the last 12 years, and was beginning to get his life back together with help from Merchants Quay Ireland, the drug rehab agency.
His solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney, told the court that O’Connor had access to a solid address in Willow Park.
However, Inspector Minnock revealed that O’Connor had committed these alleged offences whilst on bail from a previous charge, and gave evidence in a cleared court as to why he opposed bail for the defendant.
When Judge Hughes agreed with the inspector and went to remand O’Connor in custody, the defendant’s demeanour changed and he demanded to be sentenced on the charges before the court.
Judge Hughes acceded to this demand, and sentenced him to two months in prison on one of the public order charges, and allowed the State continue to prepare its case on the other two charges.
“He made his own case,” said the judge.