Longford man threw hammer on ground when he saw gardaí

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged with possession of a knife had his case adjourned for six months so the presiding judge could monitor his behaviour.

Mark Sherrin, 60 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with being in possession of a knife at Earl Street, Longford on April 27, 2017.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláthín Moran said that on the date in question at approximately 13:19 hours, gardaí were on patrol when the stopped the defendant and searched him.

“An item fell on the ground and it turned out to be a small hammer with an edge on it,” she added.

“When gardaí questioned him about the hammer, Mr Sherrin gave no explanation as to why he had it.”

The court then heard that the defendant had 63 previous convictions.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Áine Gordon said that her client admitted he had the hammer with him at the time.

“While he had the hammer on him, he has a number of previous convictions and is trying now to turn his life around,” she added.

Meanwhile, the defendant addressed Judge Hughes.

“I had the hammer and a few other bits in a bag; I got the items in the €2 shop and when I saw the gardaí I panicked,” said Mr Sherrin.

“Because Of my previous convictions, I threw the hammer away when I saw the Gardaí.”

Judge Hughes then asked the defendant if he had gotten a receipt for the items he had purchased in the store, and if so could he not have shown that to the Gardaí in his defence.

“I probably did get a receipt when I bought the stuff but I didn’t bring it with me,” Mr Sherrin told the court.

“I got out of prison in January and I have stayed out of trouble since; I’m being honest when I say that when I saw the Gardaí that day, I panicked.”

The court went on to hear that the defendant and purchased the hammer because he had a number of small jobs to do around his house.

“I wanted to hang a few pictures and that sort of stuff,” he continued.

“I also had a few sweets and stuff for the kids in the bag because I was going down to the house.”

Addressing Judge Hughes, Inspector Moran said that the defendant offered no explanation to gardaí about the hammer at the time of the incident.

“He should have given an explanation to the Gardaí when they spoke to him,” she added, before pointing out that he had been given ample opportunity to explain himself.

Ms Gordon then continued in mitigation.

“Mr Sherrin had not come to the notice of the Gardaí since January up to that point,” she added.
“He is trying to turn his life around and is not interested in getting into any further trouble.”

Following his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes adjourned proceedings for six months.

“If there is no further trouble between now and then I will deal with the matter by way of a fine,” he added.

Mr Sherrin will appear back before Longford District Court on April 17, 2018.

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