€400 for refusing Gardai admission

by Finian Coghlan

A man who obstructed Gardai as they attempted to execute a search warrant in a house that wasn't even his was fined €400 in the District Court this week (April 24 ).

Patrick Nestor (30 ), from Cherryfield Avenue, Athlone pleaded not guilty to the single charge.

Evidence was heard from Detective Garda Tom Higgins that he, with two colleagues, went to the home of Ms Christine Quinn, at 27, Brawny Square, Athlone (see story on page 1 ) at 6pm on November 13 with a warrant to search the house for suspected stolen goods.

“On arrival we saw Patrick Nestor across the road. He ran in front of us and blocked the door,” said Det Gda Higgins.

“He told me to 'F**k off , you're not getting in here'. I had to physically push the door to get access.

“We had to ask Mr Nestor to stay in the living room when we searched the house. We found a number of items and arrested the defendant for obstruction.”

It was revealed that Nestor was the uncle of Ms Quinn's partner.

In his evidence, Nestor claimed he had taken out his two cousins and when he returned he noticed a “heavy Garda presence on Brawny Road”.

“I was in the door about 10 seconds when I heard by a loud bang. I saw Garda Higgins, I opened the door and he grabbed me by the neck,” said Nestor.

He claimed his girlfriend had driven him and his nephews back to the Square and that the Garda vehicles were five houses away. He denied the obstruction.

“I would have no reason to obstruct the Gardai,” he said.

“Having weighed up the evidence, I find the prosecution has proved its case,” said Judge Elizabeth McGrath.

It was now revealed he had been found guilty of previously obstructing Gardai in April 2006.

Judge McGrath fined Nestor €400 but did not impose a custodial sentence.

“Whatever happened at the front door, Mr Nestor did not obstruct the search,” she concluded.


Page generated in 0.1376 seconds.