A teenager arrested for waving a large dagger at others during a drunken disturbance in Willow Park had his sentencing adjourned until March in order that the Welfare and Probation Service (WPS ) prepare an updated report on his situation.
James O’Reilly (19 ), Alverno Drive, Willow Park, Athlone was in court this week (November 17 ) to face a number of charges in relation to the incident on April 5 at around 2.30 in the morning.
Initally, the gardaí had not brought the offensive weapon to court as evidence and were ordered to do so by the judge. When it was presented, Judge Eamon O’Brien commented: “That’s nearly a foot [long]”.
The court heard how the Gardaí had been called to a disturbance near the defendant’s home in the early hours on the day in question. When they arrived they had to restrain the “very intoxicated” defendant who was waving the dagger.
“We were trying to calm him down. He went home to get the dagger,” said Garda Brady.
His solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn, suggested O’Reilly had been the victim of a previous assault, the perpetrators of which had been arrested and were being taken away, when his client was arrested.
“Would you say he was waving it more in bravado than with intent to use it?” Mr Quinn asked the garda.
“There were other males detained in the patrol car at the time and he was waving it in their direction,” said the garda.
Mr Quinn told the court his client was “a very vulnerable young man who had experienced some difficulties in his youth that I don’t want to go into here”.
“He’s someone who’s easily preyed upon and easily led. The probation officer would agree with that,” said Mr Quinn.
When it was then revealed that O’Reilly had been due in court this week for the presentation of a probation report in relation to a number of public order offences committed last December, the judge decided he wanted a more extensive report on the defendant.
“I take a Section 9(i ) [possession of a firearm or offensive weapon] seriously,” said the judge.
“The worst thing for this individual would be a custodial sentence,” said Mr Quinn.
“He hasn’t come to Garda notice for anything like this since April. He needs every available help.”
Judge O’Brien accepted this and adjourned sentencing until March 2 to allow the WPS prepare an updated report on O’Reilly.