Mountrath man threatened woman with machete over dog dispute

Mountrath man threatened woman with machete over dog dispute

A Mountrath man sentenced to six months in prison for threatening a woman with a machete in a dispute over dogs has been told to attend anger management as part of his appeal to avoid jail.

Before the recent sitting of Portlaoise Circuit Court was Edward Kavanagh (35), Spa Hill, Mountrath, appealing a six-month prison sentence imposed on him in Portlaoise District Court, for the possession of a knife, and threatening or abusive behaviour.

Details of the offence are that on July 20, 2017, at Stillbrook, Mountrath, there was a report of a male brandishing a machete type knife.

A woman informed the gardaí that the accused came up to her with the machete in an abusive and threatening manner.

He entered her front garden and then left the scene.

The gardaí later called to his house and the machete was found.

The accused had nine previous convictions, including three for public order offences and three for drugs.

When the case came before the district court in November last year, Judge Catherine Staines said that using a machete to intimidate someone was extremely serious.

The accused had been intoxicated at the time and Judge Staines said he was the one responsible for getting himself intoxicated.

“He’s lucky he’s not before the court on a murder charge,” said Judge Staines, adding that she had to impose a prison sentence.

The accused was sentenced to six months in prison, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

On a separate charge of drug possession on December 12, 2016, the accused was convicted and fined €100.

At the recent appeal in the circuit court, barrister, Ms Louise Troy said the incident was out of character for her client. She said there had been an argument over a puppy that died and a disagreement arose between the accused and the injured party.

“He lost the head with this person,” she said, adding that he had not intended to hurt anyone.

Ms Troy said that her client had worked as a farm labourer in the UK and worked as a casual farm labourer here in Ireland.

She said he had no convictions for offences such as this, nor had he ever engaged with the probation services or done any community service.

Ms Troy also said that the appellant had addiction issues with drink and drugs.

State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne said that the accused made admissions when arrested, suggesting that there was money owed between the parties.

Kavanagh told the gardaí that he had been showing someone his samurai sword on the day.

Mr Dunne confirmed that while the appellant had said it was a samurai sword, the article had actually been a machete.

Mr Dunne said that the injured party did not want to have anything to do with the matter, as there was a relationship between the injured party’s partner and the appellant.

Said Judge Keenan Johnson: “I’m concerned he was so het up something more serious could have happened.”

The judge agreed to adjourn the matter to April 11 next, requesting a probation report on the appellant. He also directed Kavanagh to attend anger management and deal with his addictions.

Judge Johnson said it was a very serious matter, but if the appellant followed all directions the judge said he would be inclined to impose 240 hours’ community service in the case.