26 Jun 2022

Death threats made to four Longford gardaí during ‘volatile’ incident

Death threats made to four Longford gardaí during ‘volatile’ incident

A Longford man allegedly threatened to kill four gardaí while his daughter allegedly attacked two officers with a beer bottle and household ornament during the course of a violent row, a court has heard.

Darren Kelly (35) 67 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford appeared at last week’s District Court sitting charged with four counts of threatening to kill gardaí David Conroy, Leo Shiel, John Fitzmaurice and Joe Kavanagh alongside a charge of resisting arrest following an incident on St Stephen’s Day last year.

His 18-year-old daughter Demi Kelly, of 17 Canal Green, Prospect Woods, Longford was also in attendance at last Tuesday’s weekly court sitting charged with two counts of assault and two counts of producing an article during the course of a dispute.

Sgt Jarlath Nohilly gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. He said Mr Kelly replied “nonsense” after caution when all four charges were put to him with Ms Kelly opting to remain silent.

He said gardaí had responded to an anonymous call at Grian Ard, Ardnacassa surrounding reports that a woman had been assaulted shortly before midnight on Christmas Day.

Sgt Nohilly added Mr Kelly was initially arrested on suspicion of assaulting the woman, a charge which was later dropped in March.

He said during the course of his arrest, Mr Kelly allegedly threatened all four officers resulting in a separate file being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Sgt Nohilly also revealed Ms Kelly became aggressive when noticing her father being arrested, allegedly striking Garda Shiel with a beer bottle and Garda Fitzmaurice with a ceramic vase.

In response to questioning from Judge Seamus Hughes, the Longford based sergeant said Gardaí Conlon and Fitzmaurice were the first to attend the scene, but after observing the “volatile” nature of the scene called for the assistance of both gardaí Kavanagh and Shiel.

He said the DPP’s directions had provided for the case to be heard at District Court level provided both father and daughter plead guilty.

If the pair opt to contest the charges before them, Sgt Nohilly said the State would be applying for both defendants to be sent forward for trial to the Circuit Criminal Court.

Defence solicitor Brid Mimnagh said she would be seeking the full disclosure of all statements and evidence relevant to the case, adding her intention was to meet “immediately” with both accused as soon as possible in order to ascertain what route the pair planned on adopting.

In the interim, Sgt Nohilly said the prosecution would not be objecting to bail on the proviso a number of conditions were adhered to.

They included orders for Mr Kelly and Ms Kelly to sign on at Longford garda station twice weekly and for the duo to reside at their respective home addresses.

Mr Kelly was also ordered to obey a 11pm to 7am curfew alongside a condition to abstain from alcohol and drugs.

Legal aid was granted to both defendants with the pair being remanded on bail until a sitting of Longford District Court on May 25.

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