A Portlaoise man caught in possession of a knife who told the district court he only had the item to cut open bags of coal was last week given a suspended sentence.
David Condon, 32 Mountain View Square, Portlaoise, faced two charges of the possession of a knife, one on April 4 last year, and one on January 15.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that on January 15, at Clonrooske View, Portlaoise, when Condon saw Garda John Paul O’Brien entering the estate he ran away. Garda O’Brien gave chase and saw him dropping something, which was later revealed to be a large knife.
On April 4, 2013, at Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Condon was searched and found to have a penknife with a four-inch blade on his person, for which he had no excuse.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen said that January 15 had been a cold day and Condon had been asked to get coal from outside the house. He brought the knife to cut open the coal bag, but while outside he saw a friend and went to Clonrooske View, When he saw the garda he knew he’d be in trouble for having the knife and so he fled.
Judge Catherine Staines asked Garda O’Brien if this was what had happened.
“No, judge,” replied Garda O’Brien. “I drove into the estate and the defendant turned around, saw us and he immediately took off. I never lost sight of him, the knife was wrapped in a pair of tracksuit bottoms and I saw him dropping it.”
Mr Breen asked had the garda seen Condon removing the tracksuit bottoms from a washing line.
“I saw the knife wrapped up in his hand,” reiterated Garda O’Brien.
“I’d appreciate a little honesty,” Judge Staines told Condon. “Why did you have knives?”
“No reason,” replied the defendant.
Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years. The matter was put back to April 24, for Condon to be clear of all drugs.