A Portlaoise man charged with making threats to kill was found not guilty by direction of the trial judge at Portlaoise Circuit Court, after an essential witness in the case was unale to give evidence.
Michael O’Shea, 49, of 207 St Brigids Place, Portlaoise, was charged with making threats to kill, at Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, on August 23, 2014.
Barrister, Mr Damien Colgan said his client accepted that an altercation had taken place. The accused met the gardaí 20 minutes after this and told them he had been assaulted and his injuries were noted.
Defence said that the accused had told gardaí that he was present when a row broke out, so he used force to defend himself and get away.
There had also been an allegation that the accused had attempted to take phones and rings at the scene.
Acting on behalf of the State, Mr Will Fennelly told the court that the prosecution was unable to produce a vital witness in the case.
Mr Fennelly said the book of evidence in the case placed the witness at the scene and he made a 999 call, however Mr Colgan said that the witness’s mother, who had been present in court the previous day, had said he wasn’t there.
Mr Fennelly said the witness was not attending court due to a medical issue and was not willing to entertain any options.
“The State is between a rock and a hard place,” said Mr Fennelly.
Judge Keenan Johnson said that the State believed the essential witness could not give evidence due to his mental well being, so the court had no option but to return a verdict of not guilty.
The jury in the case was recalled into the courtroom and Judge Johnson informed them that the State could not prosecute the case.
The accused was found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.