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Unusual suspect Heroin addict who wielded knife at gardai wants to go to prison to get clean, court hears

Judge Dermot Dempsey said it would be “a bit extreme” to put Michael Monaghan in custody “in the present climate”

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Michael Monaghan at Swords District Court

Michael Monaghan at Swords District Court

Michael Monaghan at Swords District Court

A heroin addict who wielded a knife with a six inch blade at gardai after they performed a drugs search on him made the unusual request to go into prison - to get clean.

However, due to the current situation in Mountjoy prison because of Covid, Judge Dermot Dempsey said it would be “a bit extreme” to put Michael Monaghan in custody “in the present climate.”

Monaghan (32), who is now on methadone, was in Swords Town Park when he took out the kitchen knife which had a six inch blade and wielded it towards gardai.

He then tried to run from gardai and discarded the knife into the Ward River. The knife was never recovered, Swords District Court heard.

The defendant, of St Cronan’s Court in Swords, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to being in possession of the knife with intent to use or cause injury at Swords Town Park on April 24.

He has 16 previous convictions.

Defence barrister Deirdre Flannery said the defendant is a heroin addict and his lifestyle has made him some enemies.

“He carried the knife for protection,” said Ms Flannery. “He has made admissions and is being supported by his grandparents.”

Ms Flannery said the defendant “had a decent start in life, working in construction at 17.”

“He lost his job and his life began to unravel. He dabbled in minor drugs and ultimately heroin.”

Ms Flannery said the defendant is now on methadone and “thinks he needs further help.”

“He has made the unusual request to go into custody to get clean,” said Ms Flannery.

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However, Judge Dermot Dempsey said “That’s where he would be going if not for the present climate” referring to Mountjoy being locked down presently due to Covid.

Judge Dempsey adjourned the case for a review in four weeks and for the defendant to engage with the Probation Services.

“The position in Mountjoy might be clarified by then,” the judge said and adjourned the case until June 8.

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