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A Mountrath man has been sentenced to six months in jail for threatening a woman with a machete in a dispute over dogs.
Before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Edward Kavanagh (34), Spa Hill, Mountrath, charged with possession of a knife, and threatening or abusive behaviour.
Inspector Eamonn Curley gave evidence that on July 20 this year, 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.
Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said his client had suffered with alcohol and substance abuse issues. The accused had previously appeared before the court on other matters, where he was directed to attend the Athy Alternative Project to address his addiction issues.
In relation to the incident, there was a dispute between the accused and the injured party over dogs, with the issue concerning payment for pups.
The accused took umbrage, said Mr Fitzgerald, but he stood at a distance from the injured party with the machete and had no intention of using it.
Defence went on to say that the accused had a letter of apology in court, and he also wished to deal with his drug and alcohol issues.
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.