Defendant tells Longford court knife was in his pocket because he was wallpapering

Case 'not an easy nut to crack' says judge

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Defendant tells Longford court knife was in his pocket because he was wallpapering

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Firearms and Offences Weapons Act had his case adjourned for 12 months so the court can monitor his behaviour.

Stephen Doyle, 14 Pearse View, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with possession of a knife and possession of a lump hammer at Richmond Street, Longford on November 28, 2016.

He was also further charged with possession of a stanley knife at Richmond Street, Longford on May 20, 2016.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Garda Cunniffe said that in May 2016, Mr Doyle was searched by the Gardaí and found to be in possession of a stanley flick knife.

“The knife was in one of his pockets and he was subsequently cautioned in respect of the matter,” added the Garda, before pointing out that Mr Doyle had said in his defence that he was wallpapering a house at the time and had forgotten about the knife in his pocket.

The court was then told that on another occasion a number of searches were being carried out along Longford town’s Richmond Street under the Misuse of Drugs Act when the gardaí encountered Mr Doyle again.

“Mr Doyle was a passenger in a vehicle and he was acting in a suspicious manner so Garda Donnelly searched him,” continued Garda Cunniffe, before Mr Doyle interrupted and said that he had told the Garda at the time that he was on Richmond Street because he was going to his uncle’s house to get a wallpaper board as he was working at another house nearby and needed the board to complete the job.

“I was wallpapering at my mother’s house and the table there wasn’t long enough there so I went to my uncle’s house to get wallpaper board; I told the Gardaí all of this at time,” Mr Doyle said.

Meanwhile, Inspector Padriag Jones said that on November 28 last gardaí were on Richmond Street when they observed a van driving in a suspicious manner.

The court heard the van turned on the road and then pulled into a nearby layby.

Gardaí spoke to Mr Doyle and while speaking with him detected a smell of cannabis coming from the van.

Following a search of the van, gardaí discovered a black handled pen knife with a three inch blade in the passenger’s door.

“At first Mr Doyle said that he didn’t know who owned the knife and then later he said it belonged to his mother,” continued Inspector Jones.

“A further search of the van resulted in the Gardaí finding a lump hammer under one of the seats.”

The court was told that Mr Doyle was arrested under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act and later charged in connection with the incident.

“The fact that the weapons were concealed within the van made the Gardaí even more suspicious,” the Inspector added.

In his direct evidence to the court, the defendant denied that he had been smoking cannabis in the van.

He also stated that in relation to the incident on Richmond Street, he hadn’t even realised at the time that he was carrying a knife in his pocket.

“I use a stanley knife for cutting the edges when I’m wallpapering,” Mr Doyle continued.

“I borrowed the van from my mother and I wasn’t smoking cannabis; I’m not here to tell lies, I’m just telling it the way it was.”

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said that his client was a single person who suffered with rheumatoid arthritis.

The court was also told that the defendant had two children.

During his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes said the case before him wasn’t going to be an easy “nut to crack”.

“I am suspicious of you Mr Doyle and so I am going to adjourn this matter for 12 months so that this court can monitor your behaviour,” remarked the Judge.