'He said his father was going before he was': Court hears nurse alerted Gardaí to threats

'He said his father was going before he was': Court hears nurse alerted Gardaí to threats

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A nurse at the Mercy Hospital alerted gardaí when a man awaiting psychiatric attention walked out threatening to harm himself but also that his father would be “going before he was.” 

The young man appeared at an in camera hearing of Cork District Court for putting his father in fear by breaching a barring order by putting his elderly father in fear.

Judge Olann Kelleher heard a bail application made by the defendant through his solicitor Eddie Burke but refused it and recommended that the defendant would receive medical and psychiatric attention in prison as a matter of urgency.

Garda Elaine Murphy testified that on Thursday she arrested the defendant under Domestic Violence Act and he made no reply. Garda Murphy said the garda objection to bail was based on concern that he would interfere with witnesses, stating that he was potentially violent and suicidal. The defendant’s father requested garda assistance when the defendant was in his home in contravention of a barring order.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the injured party went to the Bridewell more out of concern for the defendant than himself and that his concerns were about his son’s mental health.

Garda Jonathan Foley testified that he was on duty at the Bridewell when he received a call at 2pm from a staff nurse at Mercy University Hospital.

The nurse told Garda Foley the accused had made threats of harming himself and harming his father. 

“The staff nurse said he was extremely depressed and suicidal but he said his father was going before he was,” Garda Foley said.

The defendant’s father was extremely fearful his son would damage the house of cause injury. When the young man arrived at his father’s house he had a blade on him and his dad noticed a serious decline in his mental stability in recent weeks.

“His father’s concern is that he would receive treatment but he is also concerned for the safety of his neighbours and himself and for his property and their property,” Garda Foley said.

“He has been irrational and delusional in the last few weeks. He needs help,” the defendant’s father said today, adding that he was nervous of what would happen.

“He is going to do harm to me or to somebody else. His mind is all over the place.”

The defendant applied for bail and was asked about the risk to his father. He replied, “The only thing I am going to harm is myself… I feel grand when I am out on my own.

“(Other times) everyone seems to be against me calling me a rat and a rapist. I want to be able to do normal things and not be locked up because I have been locked up a lot in my life. I definitely need help. I am on methadone." 

Cross-examined by Sergeant John Kelleher about the danger to the defendant’s dad, the young man replied, “I love my dad. He is the only friend I have.

“I want to hurt myself because of all these rumours. I just want to be left alone and not bother anyone. I just want my dad and my kids – that’s all I want around me.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher said, “It is a very sad case. He (defendant’s father) speaks very lovingly about his son and is concerned about his son’s welfare. On the other side he is entitled to the protection of the court. It was a veiled threat, but it was so serious.

“I am going to remand him in custody to September 17 and request a medical report and whether he should be committed to psychiatric treatment. I view it as a matter of urgency." 

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