A Bundoran resident, who told a supermarket owner that he would put a wheel brace in his skull, has been jailed for five months, at Ballyshannon District Court.
Des Cosgrove, owner of SuperValu in Bundoran said that he had never felt so frightened and intimidated as 19-year-old Charlie Ward, Marine View, Bundoran told him that if there were no cameras, he would “sort him out”.
The defendant told the shop owner that if he did not get his head out of the van he would put this (a wheel brace) “in your skull”.
The proprietor said he was badly upset by the incident after he asked the defendant to move his white van that was blocking traffic at the shop.
He added that the defendant also drove his van at Mr Cosgrove before halting about a foot from the supermarket owner during the incident on July 15 at Drumacrin last year.
In jailing the defendant for five months for dangerous driving, Judge Kevin Kilrane said there were some members of the community who thought they could “bully and intimidate ordinary decent people”.
The judge added that these people jumped queues in a doctor’s surgery and littered the streets with their “ill-temper”.
The judge said Des Cosgrove was a man who was paying his taxes and giving employment and did not deserve to be treated in such a fashion.
Judge Kilrane referred to an earlier hearing in which the defendant said Des Cosgrove called him a Traveller as he asked him to move his van as the defendant’s wife was shopping in the supermarket.
The judge said the defendant had given “false evidence” at the last sitting and did not accept his claim that he had been referred to as a Traveller by Mr Cosgrove.
Des Cosgrove told the court earlier that he had served Travellers in his shop for many years and their respect was mutual.
He denied under cross-examination from defence solicitor Gerry McGovern that he had experienced any similar type incidents in the past.
And he denied that he had referred to Charlie Ward as a Traveller.
Judge Kilrane then re-called Garda Helen Munnelly to give evidence of the incident.
The garda said Des Cosgrove had contacted them and they spotted the defendant in his white van.
Garda Munnelly said the defendant was verbally abusive to gardai and told them that gardai would not “f…..g arrest him”.
The gardai had to get assistance as the young man sat in the van and refused to get out.
It took four gardai to bring him to the station, the court heard.
Mr McGovern said his client was foolish, rude and stupid and deeply regretted the incident.
He used foul language and this was a case of “road rage” and there were no excuses.
His client had no previous convictions so this incident could be said to be “out of character”.
But Judge Kilrane said the incident was a bad case of “intimidation and violence”.
He said he did not need a Probation Report on this incident.
He jailed the defendant for five months for dangerous driving.
And he gave the 19 year-old three concurrent sentences of three months for obstructing a peace officer, using threatening and abusive behaviour and producing an article in the course of a dispute.
The judge refused a request from Mr McGovern for a suspended sentence to leave the matter hanging over his client.