Dublin man jailed for threatening to kill Gardai and detonate a bomb

Court: The man has been jailed for a year for threatening to kill officers and detonate a bomb.
Court: The man has been jailed for a year for threatening to kill officers and detonate a bomb.

A man who gardaí believed wanted to die by “death by cop” has been jailed for a year for threatening to kill officers and detonate a bomb.

Gary Partridge (29) claimed that this was never his intention and insisted that he was actually trying to get the attention of gardaí. He said he was annoyed that his report to gardaí that there was a suspect device in his estate had been ignored.

Detective Sergeant Eddie Carroll told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting one of the officers had to fire his own gun because he was concerned that Partridge was going to shoot him.

He said the incident lasted 45 minutes and at one point Partridge pointed the gun directly at the occupants of a taxi, threatening to shoot them. The vehicle drove off at speed

Det Sgt Carroll said it was at this stage that armed officers advanced towards Partridge as they became concerned for the public.

He pointed the gun directly at one officer who then fired a round from his own weapon.

Partridge was crouched behind a car at the time but the gardaí managed to get behind him. He threw the pistol to the ground and then raised his left arm, which was holding a remote, and told officers he was going to detonate a bomb. 

Det Sgt Carroll said it transpired there was no bomb and the firearm was an air pistol that was designed to look like a genuine gun.

He said he made enquires with Pearse Street Garda Station, where Partridge claimed he had made a report about a pipe bomb, but he could find no evidence of the man having met with gardaí.

Partridge who is now living in Gloucester, England but previously of Greencastle Road, Coolock, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of an air pistol on December 17, 2013. He has no previous convictions.

Ian Fitzharris BL, defending, told Judge Martin Nolan that his client had been told by a young nephew that he found a device outside a house in the estate a number of weeks previously and Partridge had enormous concerns about this.

“It was his way of getting attention and he believes he did it for a good reason because he was worried about the welfare of the residents,” Mr Fitzharris said as an explanation for Partridge’s behaviour that day.

Judge Nolan said Partridge must be aware that what he did was incredibly serious and could have had far reaching consequences.

“Who knows where that bullet would have ricocheted? Who knows what could happen when a round of ammunition is discharged?” the judge asked.

He accepted that gardaí have to encounter some level of “stupidity and misjudgement” in their duties every day but added that Partridge’s action brought this to “a new level”.

Judge Nolan complimented the gardaí for the way they behaved and the restraint they showed.

“At all times the gardaí thought they were dealing with a man, probably unhinged, and at one point a garda believed it was so serious that he had to discharge his firearm,” Judge Nolan commented.

He accepted evidence that Partridge was “a hardworking and productive man” who was caring to his parents and partner but said “this type of recklessness and stupidity cannot be condoned”.

Judge Nolan sentenced Partridge to five years in prison but suspended the final four years on strict conditions.