Demanded cash using fake gun
A man who had been found guilty of demanding money with menace has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Forty-eight-year-old Kevin Ryan, of 3 Vinegar Hill Villas, Enniscorthy, was found guilty by a jury at a previous sitting of Wexford Circuit Criminal Court of being in possession of an imitation firearm in the car park of the Maldron Hotel in Wexford on April 13, 2014.
Mr Ryan was also found guilty of making unwarranted demands for €1,210 and €10,000 with the imitation firearm on a Mr Brian Parle.
The defendant had denied the charges.
After deliberating for two hours the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on both charges.
Det Sgt Michael Troy told Friday's sentencing hearing that after being contacted by Mr. Brian Parle they arrested the defendant who was conveyed to Wexford Garda Station where he made a statement.
Following a search warrant of the defendant's home, an imitation firearm was found under the seat of his motor vehicle. He told the court that the defendant was fully co-operative during the interview. He provided all the answers and said he was a debt collector. During the interview he denied producing an imitation firearm.
The defendant, said Det Troy, had previous convictions.
Defence Counsel Conor O'Doherty said that Mr. Parle had been in business which had failed with the result he had a number of people pursuing him for debts. He would have been familiar with people after him for debts.
Mr. O'Doherty also admitted that Mr. Parle would have thought it was a real gun which would have been the sinister element to this.
Mr. O'Doherty said the defendant has a partner and two children. He was working as a debt collector which he stopped following this incident. He has been on disability since a car accident in 2014.
Mr. O'Doherty asked the court to consider a suspended sentence.
'This leaves a very serious mark and a conviction of this nature will stigmatise and travel with Mr. Ryan to whatever he chooses to do for the remainder of his life,' said Mr. O'Doherty.
In passing sentence, Judge Hickson told the defendant that it's a very serious matter. He said that when the defendant got back into his car, the passenger leaned back, and the defendant had a gun in his hand, pointed it towards Mr. Parle saying words to the effect 'this is to show you I'm not messing'.
Judge Hickson imposed a twelve month prison sentence on the charge of demanding money with menace.
He took the remaining charge into account.