A three-year jail term was imposed on a member of a Dublin organised crime gang who called to the wrong house outside Mitchelstown demanding payment of a drugs debt.
Judge Helen Boyle described it as a premeditated crime where the accused drove all the way down from Dublin to Cork and threatened the householders that he would burn their house down if a drugs debt was not paid.
26-year-old Jamie Gavigan of Rowlagh Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin, wrote a letter of apology to the victims which he brought to court.
Judge Boyle said this letter reassured them that they had nothing to worry about from the defendant, that he was sorry for the trauma caused to them and he would never come near their home again or even visit Cork following his release from prison.
Detective Garda David Barry of Fermoy garda station said the incident occurred on October 18 2022.
Gavigan pleaded guilty to demanding €8,500 with menace. He also admitted threatening to cause criminal damage when he warned that he would burn down a house. The incident occurred at a house in a rural area outside Mitchelstown, County Cork.
Det Garda Barry said two men were present outside the house, one remaining in the car and other going to the front door.
The man at the front door was Jamie Gavigan, whom the detective described as “a member of a Dublin-based organised crime gang.”
The injured party is a man in his 60s who returned home from work to find the accused shouting in the letter box of the front door. The man’s wife was at home alone.
“The injured party took two photos – one of the man threatening him and the other of the vehicle he sped off in. The defendant told him if he did not pay the money to the criminal gang the house would be burned down.”
Gardaí were able to trace the defendant to his home as he had driven to the scene in his own car which was registered to him at his home address. Gavigan was interviewed on three occasions and he failed to give any account of his actions, Det Garda Barry said.
It appeared that the accused got the wrong house in the Mitchelstown area as he had been acting in the incorrect belief that a member of the injured party’s family owed a drugs debt.
Donal O’Sullivan, defence barrister, said of the accused: “He is not the Brain of Britain.
“I am not saying it was anything less than traumatic for the injured party – or indeed the injured parties as the man’s wife was inside the house at the time. Mr Gavigan would like to apologise to the two injured parties.”
Judge Boyle imposed a sentence of three and a half years with the last six months suspended.