A MAN who handed a hunting knife to his child in case he “did something stupid” appeared before Carlow District Court last week. The man, who is in his 40s and has an address in Carlow, pleaded guilty to contravening a protection order on four occasions late last year. The man cannot be name due to domestic violence legislation, as it would identify the injured party in the case, his former partner.
Sergeant Hud Kelly said that on 16 December last, the defendant entered the room of his child having consumed alcohol. “He handed her a hunting knife and said “take this in case I do something stupid”, recounted Sgt Kelly.
The injured party and the child were put in fear about what the man would do, the court was told.
On 27 October last, the man shouted at the woman, putting her in fear after she asked him why he had been drinking. On 5 November last, the injured party was followed by the defendant in a car from her home to her workplace, putting her in fear. On 22 November last, the injured party received 25 text messages from the defendant, while a day beforehand he had phoned her to ask where she was and queried why she was acting the way she was. A further breach took place on 11 November last.
The man also pleaded guilty to road-traffic offences, including drink-driving and driving without insurance.
The court was told the man was the driver in a single-vehicle road traffic accident. The defendant’s car was pulled over on the wrong side of the road and significant damage had been caused. The air bags had been activated and the driver required medical attention. The defendant later returned a specimen of 104mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. He had one previous conviction for drink-driving.
Defending solicitor Chris Hogan said his client “accepted he had caused a disturbance in the household”.
The court was told the man was originally from a Balkan nation and had fought in an independence war aged just 13. “He saw his friends, colleagues, killed in action,” said Mr Hogan. “After that, he developed post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The court was told the medication for PTSD had “not agreed with him” and that he had developed a dependency on alcohol. “He is a problem drinker and that has led to a lot of poor decision-making,” said the solicitor.
Judge Geraldine Carthy imposed a suspended four-month sentence for a duration of 12 months on the drink-driving charge, while two two-year driving bans were handed down for drink-driving and no insurance.
Judge Carthy said she would not seek a report from the probation services due to the level of background provided by Mr Hogan. However, the judge wished to see if the injured party wanted to make a victim impact statement and adjourned the case until 13 April.