Leitrim court

Man jailed following ‘appalling episode’ in Mohill

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Jail sentence imposed at Carrick-on-Shannon District Court for theft of copper wire

Carrick-on-Shannon Courthouse

An altercation between neighbours in Mohill resulted in three people appearing before Carrick- on-Shannon District Court last week.

The court heard that in the course of the altercation there was “an uncivilised attack” with a hurley and a knife being produced by two of the parties.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Kevin Kilrane described it as “an appalling episode” and remarked that the people involved are strangers and “wherever they came from, they came with trouble.”

Appearing in court were Christopher Murray, 25 Cappagh, Mohill who pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour, and producing an article, a knife, capable of inflicting serious injury, on July 31, 2020 at 38 Cappagh, Mohill.

Jasmin Rogan, 25 Cappagh, Mohill pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and producing an article, a hurley, capable of inflicting serious injury, on July 31, 2020 at 38 Cappagh, Mohill.

Monica Arkins, Cattan, Mohill pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour on July 31, 2020 at 38 Cappagh, Mohill.

Sgt Michael Gallagher said that on the above date at about 11.40am Garda Mimnagh called to the Cappagh estate in Mohill to deal with a public order incident.

Ms Arkins and her daughter Ms Rogan were banging on the door of their neighbour's house. Ms Rogan had a hurley in her hand and her partner, Christopher Murray, had some type of flick knife.

He said there was some sort of falling out and there was general roaring and shouting which went on for five or ten minutes.

The complainant, Ms Kennedy, said in her statement there were obscenities being shouted at her. There were children in the house at the time.

John McNulty, solicitor for Ms Arkins, said she is 61- years -old and has no previous convictions. She was aggrieved that people were annoying and hassling her grandchildren. He said she played a minor part but did engage in threatening and abusive words and behaviour and sincerely regretted it.

Mr McNulty said she no longer lives in the area and has nothing to do with her daughter or her daughter's partner.

Niamh McGovern, solicitor for Ms Rogan, said she is 29-years-old and has two boys aged 8 and 6 with her partner, Mr Murray. She said she was deeply sorry and had learned a lot from the incident and knows now to ignore things and not get involved.

Ms McGovern said her client “rowed in on her mother's coat tails” and she told Judge Kilrane this had taught her a valuable lesson and the court would not be seeing her again.

She said Ms Rogan told her she will no longer have any contact with the neighbours.

Asked how long she had been living at the address, Ms McGovern said Ms Rogan came from Dublin and was there nearly two years and Ms Kennedy was there about one year.

Ms Rogan has previous convictions from Carrick-on-Shannon District Court in September 2020 for possession of drugs and a similar conviction from Longford District Court in January 2020. She also has a conviction from Carrick-on-Shannon District Court for a theft offence in 2017.

Ms McGovern said her client is now drugs and alcohol free.

John Anderson, solicitor for Mr Murray, said his client is 30-years-old and has two children with Ms Rogan.

He said he has had a difficult life and has spent time in St Patrick's Institution from an early age and also in Cloverhill and Wheatfield Prisons.

He said Mr Murray has had difficulties with addiction in the past.

Mr Anderson said he volunteered the knife to the Gardai himself which he had hidden in his trousers.

He said Mr Murray was deeply apologetic and described it as “an unfortunate incident” but said it has settled down and he won't come back before the court again.

The court heard he had previous convictions from Longford District Court in February 2020 for possession of knives and other articles and from Carrick-on-Shannon District Court in October 2019 where he was given a four month suspended sentence for criminal damage.

Previous convictions to those were from Dublin and dated back to 2014 and earlier.

Judge Kilrane said the people involved are strangers in a quiet Cappagh estate and “wherever they came from, they came with trouble.”

He said Ms Rogan and Mr Murray have young children and she has been a regular user of drugs and he has spent time in prison.

Judge Kilrane told Sgt Gallagher he wanted a report sent to the Child and Family Agency concerning the couple.

He said “a completely uncivilised attack” was made by them, with a hurley stick and a knife, on their neighbour who had children in the house.

He said it would have been frightening for those children to have three people appear at the door, one armed with a knife and another with a hurley stick.

Judge Kilrane said he appreciated there were allegations of children fighting with children which he said has, “from time immemorial, resulted in parents getting excited and angry.”

“It was an appalling episode and the Child and Family Agency should be involved in this case,” he said.

He said Ms Arkins was in a different category to the others. He said she is 61 and was “brought along” by her daughter and her boyfriend for some sort of moral support. He said she did not have a weapon and he applied the Probation Offenders Act, Section 1.1., in her case.

Judge Kilrane said the hurley stick Ms Rogan had with her was a “very serious and threatening weapon to be produced at anyone's front door.”

He said the lady, Ms Kennedy, was doing nothing to them and there was a vague allegation of some children's problem.

He said the date of the offence was during school holidays and for children to be exposed to that type of violence by adults was “absolutely shocking and very worrying.”

Judge Kilrane said that wherever Ms Rogan and Mr Murray came from “it was unfortunate that they came next, nigh or near this quiet estate.”

He convicted and fined her €200 for the offence involving the hurley stick and convicted and took into consideration the public order charge against her.

Judge Kilrane described Mr Murray as “the greatest offender of all here” and said he was a male attacking a female, a defenceless lady, while armed with a knife.

He questioned why he should not be sent to prison.

Mr Murray said it shouldn't have happened. He said Monica Arkins went over, Jasmin Rogan followed and he saw them all roaring at each other and he went halfway over.

He said he was deeply, deeply sorry and repeated it shouldn't have happened and will never happen again.

He asked the Judge to give him a suspended sentence and he would keep his head down.

Asked why he had the knife, he said he was terrified of another man at the time, but he genuinely wasn't going to use it.
He said he has not been in prison since 2011 and has never been locked up since he has had children.

Judge Kilrane told him he had received chances in the past and suspended prison sentences and had been dealt with “fairly generously” by the courts.

Describing it as “a very serious knife offence”, Judge Kilrane said the lady involved, Ms Kennedy, had her house attacked with weapons.

He convicted and sentenced him to six months in prison, suspending the final four months on the condition there be no allegation of assault, illegal drugs, criminal damage or any offence under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act for the next two years.

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal but were not taken up.

The hurley stick was forfeited to the State.