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Man threatened to shoot garda's wife during 'row over cans'

Mark Byrne (37) made what a judge described as a "despicable" threat
Mark Byrne (37) made what a judge described as a "despicable" threat

A reveller who got into a fight with another man in Temple Bar threatened to shoot a garda's wife after the officer separated the pair, a court heard.

Mark Byrne (37) made what a judge described as a "despicable" threat during a public order disturbance that started with a row "over cans".

Judge Demot Dempsey gave him a two-month suspended sentence at Dublin District Court.

Byrne, of Blackrock House, Blackrock, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Temple Bar Square on April 30 last.

The charges are under the Public Order Act.

The court heard a garda was on duty in the area at 8.05pm when he heard a "commotion" coming from Merchants Arch.

Two men were having an altercation and the officer went over to intervene. He pulled Byrne away from the row and identified himself as a garda.

The accused continued to be aggressive, pushing the garda back and spitting in the direction of the other man. Byrne put up some resistance as he was arrested and handcuffed.

The garda called for assistance to get Byrne off him and a member of the public came and helped, getting "some abuse" from the defendant in the process.

A garda van arrived and as he was being put in it, Byrne made threats to the garda and his wife.

"He said he would find out where I lived and would shoot my wife, which I found very offensive," the garda told the court.

"There was drink on board and he appeared to be quite angry, but compos mentis," the garda said.

Judge Dempsey asked the officer how credible he had found the threat. He replied: "if it was just myself, it would be water off a duck's back."

Byrne's lawyer told the court that his girlfriend is pregnant and due to give birth next year. He also hoped to attend his 17-year-old daughter's Debs party next month.

"It seems trite and petty, but the fracas began over who owned what cans," his lawyer continued. "He apologises for his behaviour - it got heated and he can't recall that being said."

"I apologise if I did say anything," Byrne told the court.

"It is a despicable thing to say about any person, never mind a garda who was trying to help you on the night," Judge Dempsey said.

He suspended the sentence for two years.

Andrew Phelan