Cork pensioner charged with endangerment for allegedly boobytrapping doors by hooking them to electrical mains

“There was 230 volts of electricity running through the door handles," Sergeant John Kelleher said.
Cork pensioner charged with endangerment for allegedly boobytrapping doors by hooking them to electrical mains

Judge Colm Roberts was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions said the case could be dealt with summarily at Cork District Court. The judge said he found that decision ‘fascinating.’ However, he said he was refusing jurisdiction and that it would have to be dealt with by indictment.

GARDAÍ responding to a call about the welfare of a person in East Cork found that three doors at the property were boobytrapped to the electrical mains where someone could have been killed by electrocution on touching a handle.

That was the allegation made when 76-year-old Michael Noel Sheehan of Chimney Field, Glenville, County Cork, was charged with endangerment on February 16.

When the charge was brought today against the accused, he replied, “I will speak in court.” 

Judge Colm Roberts was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions said the case could be dealt with summarily at Cork District Court. 

The judge said he found that decision ‘fascinating.’ However, he said he was refusing jurisdiction and that it would have to be dealt with by indictment.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said a book of evidence would be required. 

The matter was adjourned until November 28 to allow time for preparation and service of a book of evidence.

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background allegations for Judge Roberts before he decided to refuse jurisdiction.

“Garda Bryan Murphy and Garda Brian McCabe responded to a call relation to a welfare check and attended the defendant’s address.

“Gardaí inspected the house and found the living conditions were of poor quality. (They were informed that the defendant) had boobytrapped doors of the house by hooking up the mains power to the door handles.

“Later a search was carried out by both gardaí and the ESB. The house was made safe by members of the ESB. They discovered that the mains electricity had been hooked up to three internal door handles.

“There was 230 volts of electricity running through the door handles. This was enough electricity to cause death or serious injury. All power was disconnected from the address,” Sgt. Kelleher said.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, suggested, “It might not be as serious as at first appearance.” Judge Roberts said, “Obviously, I must be more easily shocked than others.” Mr Buttimer added, “Pardon the pun.” The judge said, “Yes indeed.”

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