Carrying a Large Kitchen Knife, too many People Murdered and Stabbed, in this Dangerous Country?

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Man with knife at train station had ‘very real’ threat on his life

24th May 2022

A YOUNG man caught carrying a kitchen knife in his trousers at a Dublin train station was involved in a feud and had a “very real” threat on his life, a court has heard.

Aaron O’Brien (22) had himself been the victim of a stabbing amid “bad blood” months before gardaí found the knife on him in the city centre.

He was jailed for six months when he appeared in Dublin District Court on a weapons charge.

O’Brien, of Macken Street, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a knife.

Dublin District Court heard gardaí were on duty at Connolly Station underpass at 3pm on December 1, 2020, when they saw the accused acting suspiciously.

Garda Brendan Byrne stopped O’Brien and spoke to him. The accused looked like he was concealing something so the garda searched him and found a kitchen knife in the waistband of his trousers. Asked why he had it, O’Brien said it was for his protection because he was “involved in a feud with a gang in Bray”.

He was arrested and brought to Store Street garda station, where he made no reply when charged.

The knife was handed in to court.

O’Brien had six previous convictions for offences including possession of knives, criminal damage and public order charges.

The accused, who worked as a bricklayer and a labourer had had a threat on his life, his barrister Donal Pattison said.

O’Brien had been victim of a stabbing himself and had been hospitalised three months before being found with the knife.

“At the time he felt the threat was very real, given the stabbing” Mr Pattison said.

He knew it was not a legitimate excuse to be carrying a knife, Mr Pattison said. The “issues with the other individuals” had now ended and there was no longer bad blood.

“He’s given an explanation but it’s not acceptable to be carrying a knife around,” Judge Bryan Smyth said.

He said in the circumstances the offence warranted a prison sentence.

O’Brien was already in custody on remand when he appeared in court.

He was attending a gym and keeping his head down now, the court heard.

The judge sentenced the accused and fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

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