Probation report ordered after Longford man admits he had machete in his car

Defendant says he had offensive weapon to protect himself

Longford Leader

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Road accident case comes to abrupt end in court

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Firearms & Offensive Weapons Act was ordered to engage with the Probation Service and appear back before the courts on September 25 next.

Darren Mears (18), Ferefad, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with having a machete at Bannon Terrace, Longford on February 8, 2018.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Sergeant Paddy McGirl said that on the date in question at 1pm gardaí were on patrol in Longford town when they received a call to go to an address in Bannon Terrace.

“When they arrived there, the Gardaí searched a vehicle outside a house and discovered a number of items in it,” added Sergeant McGirl.

“A large kitchen knife was discovered and Mr Mears took ownership of the items found.

“He said he had the items because he was in fear for his own safety.”

Meanwhile and in mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client’s extended family were involved in a feud.

“An extended arm of the family unit have been in a dispute with another family,” added Mr Quinn.

“The check on the vehicle by the Gardaí was a routine one; the implement that was found should not have been there and Darren accepts that he should not have had it in the car.”

Mr Quinn went on to ask the Judge if he was of a mind to order a probation report before sentencing his client.

“He is a young man who has never been in trouble before and I really think that a probation report would help the court,” he added.

During his judgement in the case, Judge Hughes said the defendant had “horrendous” items in the car.

“And all of this at a time when there was a feud going on with family,” fumed the Judge.

“This man is looking at a long stretch in prison I can tell you Mr Quinn; as far as this court is concerned, the intention was to use these implements either defensively or otherwise, so this is very serious indeed.”

The Judge subsequently ordered a probation report on the defendant and requested that he appear back before him at the end of September.