An excuse by a Mervue man that he carried a knife to stop his dogs fighting while out walking them was rubbished by a district court judge, who imposed a four-month sentence and stressed that the courts had to take possession of knife offences seriously.
“There’s no legitimate excuse,” said Judge Mary Fahy, after hearing the evidence given at Galway District Court on Monday in relation to 41-year-old Zak Hudson with an address at 1 Mallin Avenue, Mervue, Galway, who was charged with possession of a knife at William Street, Galway, on August 24, 2010, and with failing to appear in court on another date.
Garda Cormac McAvock told the court that at 8.30am Hudson had been stopped on William Street and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act; however, a knife was found to be in his possession. Garda McAvock further explained that when questioned about the knife Hudson had claimed that he often brought the implement with him when walking his dogs in case they got into a fight and the knife is then used to force a dog to release its bite.
Inspector Ernie White then told the court that Hudson has 37 pevious convictions. which included three in October 2008 for dog offences, and jail sentences for drug possession and drug dealing offences.
Hudson’s solicitor explained that the previous drug convictions occurred because his client has been a heroin addict for 18 years but is currently on methadone treatment and doing well. Referring to the garda’s evidence the solicitor further explained that Hudson would normally have a muzzle on his terrier dogs but that sometimes if the dog gets free and fights then the knife can be placed in the mouth, forcing it to release its bite. The court then heard that Hudson had the knife in his possession on this occasion because he had brought his dogs out earlier.
“It doesn’t change the fact that this was William Street and in the middle of the city. That excuse of having a dog is unacceptable, not with 37 previous convictions,” replied Judge Fahy.
“It is his first offence for possession of a knife,” said the solicitor, to which Judge Fahy replied that she would take Hudson’s plea into account and that it was a small knife. Hudson was then convicted and sentenced to a total of four months.
Hudson was later released from custody after lodging recognisance money for an appeal.