Banbridge Court has heard how a Gilford man appeared at a man’s home at 2am pointing a loaded crossbow at him.
Bernard Seamus O’Hare (25) from Castleview, who has 41 previous convictions, was sentenced to five months in prison.
Deputy District Judge Mr Magill said the court would be failing in its duty if he didn’t impose a sentence to make it clear this behaviour was intolerable.
“For any householder to be woken up in the middle of the night and be confronted by two males, one pointing a loaded crossbow at him, must be terrifying.” A PPS prosecutor explained how at 2am on 15 October last, the injured party said he was at home asleep when he heard a knock to his front door. He looked out the window and saw O’Hare with another male. He opened the door and O’Hare then pointed a loaded crossbow at him.
The injured party then closed the door and ran upstairs where he phoned the father of the defendant. However, O’Hare intercepted the call and said, “You are not such a hard man now.”
O’Hare was arrested a short time later in Gilford. A search of the Woodlands area was carried out and police seized a crossbow.
During interview he denied being in possession of the weapon.
He said he had previously held a crossbow two years previously and said he didn’t know anything about the one in question.
O’Hare further told police he thought it belonged to a man in Gilford but refused to give his name.
Defence barrister, also called Mr O’Hare, said his client has a relevant similar previous conviction for possession of a sword and had been given a suspended sentence.
Deputy District Judge Mr Magill considered evidence before the court and said it was apparent the defendant had significant mental health issues.
Barrister Mr O’Hare said his client had used alcohol and drugs as a crutch but had now reduced his alcohol and was free from drugs.
Judge Magill said, “You have a number of difficulties and I have seen a psychiatric report and read a pre sentence report. At the same time you are presenting here today fit to be tried.
“You have 41 previous convictions. A variety of options have been explored including probation but you have shown limited commitment in the past. You also did not give consent to undertake community service.
“That being the case you limit the options open to this court.”
A previous suspended three month sentence was activated in addition to another two months meaning he will serve five months.