A young man sitting in a courthouse with his barrister ahead of a legal consultation was approached by another man who called him a rat in an attempt to intimidate him.
Now the man who made that comment, 21-year-old Aaron Bohane of Springfield Meadows, Midleton, County Cork, has been convicted of interfering with a witness in a case in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.
Barrister Paula McCarthy testified at Cork District Court that she was sitting on a bench in the public hallway of the Anglesea Street courthouse at lunchtime on February 19 2020. She was with Nigel Walsh and waiting for solicitor Diarmuid Kelleher to arrive so that they could begin the consultation.
Ms McCarthy BL said, “A few minutes later a man arrived and said to Nigel something like, ‘You are a f***ing rat’.
“I said let’s get away from here and go to a consultation room. I notified Diarmuid Kelleher we were going there. The whole incident only lasted a minute or two.
“Later when we were leaving the consultation room, Nigel Walsh asked Diarmuid Kelleher would he accompany him and escort him out of the courthouse.”
Donal Daly, solicitor for Aaron Bohane, said Nigel Walsh was convicted numerous times for assault.
He referred to a sentence Nigel Walsh got of two years for stamping on a man’s head and evidence that he steadied himself against a wall so that he could keep stamping, and that afterwards he told gardaí he was delighted he assaulted the man and would do it again.
Mr Daly suggested it was unlikely Nigel Walsh would be intimidated given he had “this extremely violent past.” Mr Daly said that Nigel Walsh was wholly unreliable. He added, “I have no doubt Ms McCarthy’s evidence is utterly truthful.”
Judge Marian O’Leary convicted Bohane – who failed to show up for his case – on the charge of making threats and menacing a witness in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.
On the application of Inspector Pat Murphy, Judge O’Leary then issued a warrant for the arrest of Bohane so that he could be brought before Cork District Court for sentencing.
Insp. Murphy presented video evidence during the trial of the approach made by Bohane. The inspector remarked, “Mr Walsh is entitled to the security and sanctity of the courthouse. Mr Bohane showed no regard for the courthouse.”