“If someone held an axe to my throat in that manner I would be very scared and would keep my mouth shut,” said Judge Kevin P Kilrane prior to imposing a conviction for assault against John Grier, 25 Hillcrest Grove, Drumshanbo.
Giving evidence the victim, Martin Hopkins, said he was at home at 29 Hillcrest Grove, Drumshanbo on the afternoon of May 9, 2017 when he “observed some action outside my house. I asked the defendant’s son to desist from kicking a ball into my garden.”
Mr Hopkins said he then went to watch his daughter’s football match and when he returned he was struck with the butt of an axe by the defendant before asking the defendant to leave his property.
Mr Hopkins said he was left with a permanent click in his jaw as a result of the attack.
He also said, “I’ve become withdrawn, I don’t go out as much,” since the incident.
He noted that the defendant has “thankfully” left the area.
Inspector Denis Harrington told the court he, “Would accept the defendant was cutting timber at the side of his house immediately before the assault.”
A statement given by Mr Grier to Gardai was read in court in which he stated, “I had no intention of causing harm to anyone.”
Defending solicitor Colm Conway added, “He was extremely angered at what he thought was a threat to his 15 -year-old-son. He accepts he went about it in entirely the wrong manner.”
Mr Conway referred to the defendant as, “Not a man that gets into this type of trouble ever. He accepts he over-reacted.”
Having heard the evidence Judge Kilrane remarked, “I accept disputes can arise in relation to children, especially when they are playing.”
Referring to the assault Judge Kilrane noted, “He was only one step away from using the implement in a more forceful way.
“It is a worrying development that anyone would have such ill-temper.”
Judge Kilrane imposed a conviction and a fine of €300.