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Chronic cannabis user made phone threats to kill his mother, court told

Ross O'Rourke

Eimear Cotter

A YOUNG man who sent voice and text messages to his mother threatening to kill her was a chronic cannabis user and was in a "cannabis- induced state" at the time, a court has heard.

Ross O'Rourke (27) was in a psychiatric hospital in Amsterdam at the time when most of the WhatsApp messages were sent.

He was under the misunderstanding that his mother was talking about him, and that was why he sent the messages.

O'Rourke had been estranged from his family for quite a while, but he was very remorseful and had since reconciled with them, his lawyer told the court.

Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date in June.

The defendant, of Castle Terrace Court in Malahide, admitted making threats to kill or cause serious harm to his mother on January 26, 2021.

Detective Garda Ken McGreevy told Swords District Court that O'Rourke sent voice and text messages via WhatsApp to his mother threatening to kill her.

The garda said O'Rourke was a chronic cannabis user at the time and was under a "cannabis-induced state".

Many of the messages were sent when O'Rourke was a patient in a psychiatric hospital in the Netherlands, and staff took his mobile phone from him when they were made aware of the texts.

Det Gda McGreevy said the accused was medically repatriated to Ireland, and was subsequently interviewed by gardaí.

He co-operated fully with officers, admitted sending the threats and was remorseful.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said O'Rourke's mother had not wanted to proceed with the case, but would have given evidence if asked to do so. Ms Kealy said O'Rourke was now living with his father, but was on good terms with his mother.

She said O'Rourke had cut down radically on his cannabis use and was working to eradicate it.

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