A court has heard that an associate of a Dublin criminal gang went to the house of a completely innocent couple in North Cork and banged on their door whilst threatening to burn down their property unless they handed over a “drugs debt.”
Jamie Gavigan of Rowlagh Avenue in Clondalkin in Dublin travelled to North Cork with another male on the October 18th, 2022 and went to a house where he demanded money with menaces from the homeowners.
The couple have never had any involvement in criminality or drugs and the incident involved Gavigan going to the wrong property.
Det Garda David Barry told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Mr Gavigan, whom he called a “member of an organised crime gang” went to a house in a rural area in North Cork and started shouting in the door making aggressive threats.
He told the homeowners, who had no association with the criminal, that he would be back and would “burn down” their house.
The injured parties took two pictures of the car of the male who threatened them as he drove off at speed. Mr Gavigan was subsequently identified through his car registration which was captured in the photographs.
Mr Gavigan (26) was arrested and charged with the offence six days later. He was remanded in custody on October 25th 2022 and has been detained since. He applied for a bail in the High Court but his application was unsuccessful.
Det Garda David Barry said that prior to his arrest Mr Gavigan lived at home with his mother and grandmother in Clondalkin. He has 27 previous convictions including one conviction for possession of a firearm and ammunition. He also has convictions for the possession and possession of sale or supply of drugs.
Barrister for the defence, Donal O’Sullivan, BL, said that his client has been in a relationship with a woman for many years and has a stepchild whom he thinks of as his own. He said that Mr Gavigan had made no effort to conceal his identity and used his own car which subsequently exposed his involvement in the offence.
Mr Gavigan was tracked down because of the photographs taken by the homeowners and the fact that they had good quality CCTV.
Mr O’Sullivan said that his client suffers from medical health problems and left school after his Junior Certificate.
“He made no attempt to hide his face. It was inevitable he was going to get caught. He also signed a plea of guilty (at the earliest opportunity)."
He added that he was in no taking away from the considerable trauma suffered by the couple but stressed that his client had been sent down by others to pick up a drugs debt. Gavigan also sought help for his mental health following his arrest.
Mr Gavigan pleaded guilty to two charges. Namely threatening to damage property and demanding money with menaces. Judge Helen Boyle adjourned the case until February 22nd.