Man sentenced over falsely imprisoning child in Edgeworthstown

A father of three has been given a nine month suspended prison sentence for falsely imprisoning his neighbour’s 13-year-old child in a dispute over a game of football last year.

Muhammad Khalid, 11 Cloverwell, Edgeworthstown, pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning the teenager at Cloverwell, Edgeworthstown, Longford on March 31 2016.

A special sitting of Longford District Court heard yesterday that the former garage worker had been rushing on his way to a pre-wedding ceremony when he came across a number of youngsters playing football in the middle of a street.

When, it was alleged, the group failed to agree to his request, Mr Khalid got out of his car and grabbed the 13-year-old and put him into the vehicle’s back seat.

Garda Michael Fox said in a statement taken with the victim, the boy alleged when he tried to get out of the car he was restrained from doing so and was struck a number of times.

The boy managed to free himself after Mr Khalid stopped the car having driven approximately 100 metres up the road.

Garda Fox told of the “very terrified state” the young boy was in when he took a statement from him, a sense of feeling made worse by the fact his father had been away from home at the time of the incident.

The court was further informed that following his initial arrest Mr Khalid wrote two letters to the victim’s family over the incident.

The boy, who cannot be named due to his age, said while he had been left with no lasting physical injuries, the incident had impacted him psychologically.

“I don’t go outside or anything because I am afraid of it (incident) happening again,” he told Judge John Cheatle.

In defence, Niall Flynn BL said his client was fully aware a Section 15 charge of false imprisonment in the Circuit Court carried a maximum prison term of 14 years.

He also said Mr Khalid and the boy’s family had been close acquaintances and asked for any consequent sentence to rectify the “fractured relationship” that now existed between both parties.

He also also said his client had made full admissions, apologised on two occasions and was full of remorse.

The defence barrister added the incident was in no way premeditated and was a “spur of the moment” decision that lasted no more than 30 seconds.

Mr Flynn added though that the incident may have been precipitated by a number of previous incidents, one of which involved chilli sauce being left on the front door of his house.

In sentencing Mr Khalid to nine months imprisonment, Judge John Cheatle identified the two letters written by the accused to the boy’s family seeking the charges to be withdrawn as “significant aggravating factors” in the case.

A mitigating element, he added, was Mr Khalid’s guilty plea.

He consequently sentenced the nine month jail term for a period of 18 months and also bound Mr Khalid to the peace for a period of 18 months in his own bond of €300.

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