A 51-year-old man who had a knife in his pocket while attending a court case in Cork claimed he had forgotten he had it and that “only a lunatic would bring a weapon to court.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a six-month jail term on Shane Carroll of Ivy Crescent, Riverway, South Douglas Road, Cork, at Cork District Court.
“I don’t accept it was accidental, I think it was for an ulterior motive,” Judge Kelleher said as he imposed the jail term on the accused.
Detective Sergeant Jason Wallace was a witness in a case at Courtroom 3 in Cork District Court when his colleague, Garda David Cremin alerted him to something he had observed, namely what looked like the handle of a knife visible in Shane Carroll’s pocket.
“A trial was going on and he was sitting in the body of the court. Garda Cremin alerted me to a knife sticking out of Mr Carroll’s trouser pocket.
“He was also acting a bit erratically, commenting loudly on proceedings going on in court.
Cross-examining, Frank Buttimer solicitor said Shane Carroll had reason to be in court. He questioned whether Det. Sgt. Wallace could have seen the knife before approaching the defendant and the detective said he did see it.
Garda Cremin said of Shane Carroll, “He was slouched back.
Later when Garda Cremin read the charge to the accused and asked him if he wanted to make any reply after caution.
The reply from Shane Carroll was, “Very well read.”
Carroll gave evidence stating that he carried a walking stick following a severe accident. While he no longer required it, he brought it to court to show to Judge Olann Kelleher. He said there were engravings on the wood which he did with the knife.
He said he did not recall that it was in his pocket when he went to court on June 8 last year, adding, “It was a big mistake.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said that Garda Cremin and Det. Sgt. Wallace observed on the day of the June court that the accused had no walking stick. Shane Carroll said he did.
Judge Kelleher said to the accused, “You were being quite smart to the guard when you said, ‘Very well read’.”
Carroll said it was an oversight that he had the knife in his pocket.
“Only a complete lunatic would bring a weapon to court," he said.
The judge convicted him of having the weapon unlawfully.
Sgt. Lyons said that among the defendant’s 37 previous convictions was a count for carrying a weapon and another for assault causing harm.