Pepper-spray deployed on Stradbally man with knife

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A Stradbally man who had to be pepper-sprayed by gardaí after he produced an 18 inch knife outside a local pub following an altercation was last week given a suspended sentence.

Shane Bowler, with an address listed on the court sheet as 16 Court Square, Stradbally, but currently residing at a Dublin hostel, was charged with being intoxicated, using threatening behaviour in public, possession of a knife, and obstructing a peace office, at Main Street, Stradbally, on November 24 last year.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that Bowler was ejected from Napper Tandy’s pub on the night, but returned a short time later. Staff called the gardaí because they were fearful, as Bowler had a knife with him. He refused to comply with the gardaí when they arrived and had to be pepper-sprayed. He subsequently dropped the 18-inch knife, and was arrested.

Bowler had two previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client, a 25-year-old man, had then been living in Stradbally for two weeks, as he had been unable to continue living at home after his mother was diagnosed with an aneurism.

On the night, he went to the pub and consumed six or seven pints of Bulmers, but unfortunately he was on medication at the time. He began socialising with a group of young people and was playing pool, but one lady made an accusation against him, which he denied.

An altercation took place and he left the premises, but returned later with the knife. Defence said that Bowler claimed he was fearful for his girlfriend, who was allegedly injured when people in the pub threw out bar stools. He also claimed that a threat had been made against his house.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that Bowler was seeking CCTV footage in relation to the allegation made by the young lady in the pub. He accepted that he should not have gone back with the knife.

Ms Fitzpatrick concluded by saying that Bowler had himself sustained an injury on the night and went to A+E.

Judge Catherine Staines said it was an extremely serious incident, especially with the presence of the knife.

“It could have ended up in a much more serious incident,” said the judge.

She imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.


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