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Dublin dad fires shotgun into neighbour's house after row with brother

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

A Dublin father who fired a shotgun into a neighbour's house after a fight with his brother over childcare has been jailed for three and a half years.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that three of the neighbour's grandchildren were present when Joseph Beacom (34) threw an object at her door and smashed up her car because his brother had fled into her home.

Garda David Harte explained to Judge Cormac Quinn that Beacom had become enraged that his own young children had witnessed a physical fight between him and his brother.

He was then angry at his neighbour, Patricia Weldon, because his brother had run into her home.

Gda Harte told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that Beacom left the premises after smashing up the car but returned with a shotgun and fired into the bedroom window.

The grandchildren had been removed from the house at this stage, but Ms Weldon was in an upstairs bedroom when a shot came through the window and sent shattered glass down over her.

Ms Weldon then crawled to the bathroom and locked herself in to call gardai.

Beacom, with an address at Chuain Mhuire, Athy, Co. Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to discharging a firearm and threatening to kill Ms Weldon at Kilmahuddrick Lawn, Clondalkin on April 3, 2016.

He has 36 previous convictions, including six threats to kill involving the same barman.

Gda Harte told Mr Cooney that after Beacom had shot through Ms Weldon's windows, she heard him shouting that he was going to kill her.

She said though she has since suffered anxiety attacks, she was more worried about her grandchildren as the incident had affected them most.

The garda said he and colleagues recovered three spent shotgun cartridges but never found the weapon.

Gda Harte agreed with John Fitzgerald BL, defending, that there had been no feud between his client and Ms Weldon before the incident and that their families had been neighbours for years.

Mr Fitzgerald submitted to Judge Cormac Quinn that Beacom's family background had been characterised by alcoholism and inappropriate use of substances.

He said his client had serious alcohol issues but was now doing well on a residential treatment programme at Chuain Mhuire.

The centre's manager, Nicola Kelly, gave evidence that Beacom had “transformed” since beginning the programme and said she didn't represent people in court lightly.

Judge Quinn acknowledged Beacom had made huge steps in tackling his drinking problems but said he had to balance the sentence with the aggravating factors in the case.

He imposed a five year sentence with the final 18 months suspended