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Brother of notorious criminal fined for threatening to shoot man

Derek Clarke
Derek Clarke

A BROTHER of notorious criminal Derek ‘The Panther’ Clarke has been convicted and fined €200 for threatening a man outside Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court.

Joe Clarke (41) approached a group of people outside the courthouse during the trial of a man accused of shooting his brother in the leg.

Clarke said “I’m going to shoot him”, and one of the men in the group believed the threat was directed at him, Drogheda District Court heard.

Gda Sgt Mick Geoghegan told Judge Flann Brennan that another person overheard Clarke say he was going to “get hitmen down from Dublin”.

A third person overheard Clarke say: “I’ll box the head off him. I’ll shoot him myself.”

Clarke, of Liberty House, Railway Street, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive behaviour outside Dundalk courthouse in Crowe Street on November 3 last year.

Defence solicitor Dermot Monahan said that a trial had been taking place in the courthouse where Derek Clarke was the injured party.

He had been shot in the leg with an air rifle in Moneymore Estate, Drogheda, in March 2014.

“Tensions were high on the day and Joe Clarke got a rush of blood to his head and became highly agitated because members of the alleged defendant’s family were at the courthouse,” said Mr Monahan.

He said Clarke agreed his “actions were wrong” and that he finds it hard to make rational decisions.

Derek Clarke was jailed for six years in 2005 for the manslaughter of a 57-year-old man he claimed had sexually molested his girlfriend while they slept rough in Dublin.

He punched the man, who fell and hit his head on concrete.

Despite attempts by the emergency services to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead at St James’s Hospital a short time later.

Clarke was also jailed for four years after he was convicted on four charges of sexual assault.

Judge Brennan fined Joe Clarke €200 for using threatening and abusive behaviour. He has one previous public order conviction.