A FATHER-of-three called 999 threatening that he would kill his neighbour when a “petty argument” about parking spaces escalated, a court heard.
Daniel Hall (30) relayed the threats to emergency workers on two calls four minutes apart, and was later found in possession of a knuckleduster.
Judge Bryan Smyth spared him jail after hearing what happened was a “cry for help” borne out of frustration and Hall had since moved address.
The accused was given an eight-month suspended sentence on condition he has no further contact with the victim, Lisa Murphy.
Hall, with an address at the time at Church Court, East Wall, pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Ms Murphy on March 19.
He also admitted possession of a knuckleduster on the same date.
Dublin District Court heard the accused had made “certain admissions” in interview in relation to making the phone calls and possession of the knuckleduster.
Hall apologised for his behaviour on the night, which was “out of character”, his solicitor told the court.
He had lived in the area for a number of years and his relations with the neighbour in question had been “fairly amicable” and they had got along.
But their relationship rapidly deteriorated after a “petty argument” about parking spaces, the solicitor said.
This culminated in what happened on the night, when the accused became frustrated.
The threats were not made directly to the victim but on 999 dispatch calls and were “more a cry for help out of frustration”, the solicitor said.
Hall had since moved out of the address because it was “simply unliveable for him to be in the area with Ms Murphy.
“It was easier for everyone for him to get out”.
Hall had a good employment history, having worked in construction, as a waiter in a restaurant and in security.
He realised the gravity of the offences.
After reading a victim impact statement, Judge Smyth said it was “fairly serious” and he had considered refusing jurisdiction.
However, when he looked at the details of the calls, he said “it seemed to me there was an element of a cry for help” and that was why the court accepted jurisdiction although it was “borderline”.
The Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to the case being dealt with in the district court on a guilty plea only.
Judge Smyth said there was “no way” that he could apply the Probation Act “or anything like it”.
The case was deserving of a prison sentence but he suspended the eight months for two years.
Under conditions, Hall is to be of good behaviour and have no contact, directly or indirectly, including by electronic means, with Ms Murphy.