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Man gets six months for intimidating a garda

Man gets six-month sentence for intimidating garda

A MAN who threatened a garda was jailed for six months at last week’s sitting of Castlebar Court.
PJ Higgins (33) of Egool, Kilmovee, Ballaghaderreen, pleaded guilty to intimidating Garda Derek Conroy when he approached him in an irate manner in Castlebar Circuit Court on October 18, 2011. Moments earlier Mr Higgins had pleaded guilty to intimidating a witness.
Garda Conroy told last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court that Mr Higgins approached him after his case had been adjourned for a probation report and a victim impact statement. Mr Higgins told Garda Conroy that he never heard of a victim impact statement and accused the gardaí of applying for one in order to get him ‘banged up for longer’.
Mr Higgins told Garda Conroy that the witness he was accused of intimidating, Eoin Ruane, was not scared of him, and he said ‘you know what I’m capable of and I’ll do it [and] I’ll go to jail for something right’.
Garda Conroy said he believed that Mr Higgins’ threats were serious and he would do something to him or to Mr Ruane.
Mr Patrick Reynolds, BL for the prosecution, said that Mr Higgins was currently serving a three year sentence for intimidating Ruane with the final 18 months suspended, and that he was on bail for that offence when he threatened Garda Conroy.
Mr John O’Donnell, BL for Mr Higgins, said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had not followed up on what he said.
Judge Thomas E O’Donnell said the court viewed intimidation ‘very seriously’ and wondered if any part of his current sentence would have been suspended if this matter was made known at the earlier sentencing.
Judge O’Donnell imposed a six-month sentence on top of the sentence Higgins is currently serving and ordered that all the release conditions applied to the original sentence remain in place.