09 Aug 2022

Tipperary man jailed after threatening to stab brother and burn house down

Tipperary man threatened to stab brother and burn house down

Cashel District Court

A man who threatened violence and was verbally abusive towards his brother has been sent to jail.

Peter Tobin of Grawn, Ballingarry, Thurles was charged with contravening a protection order made at Clonmel District Court a day prior in that he threatened violence and was verbally abusive towards the applicant, his brother Joseph Tobin, at Grawn, Ballingarry on March 3 last.

In addition, the defendant was charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, whilst being intoxicated, at Clonmel Garda Station on December 24, 2020, with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

Similar public order charges related to an incident at South Tipperary General Hospital on February 15 last.

He engaged in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour at O’Connell Street in Clonmel on December 29, 2020, failing to comply with directions to desist his actions and leave the vicinity immediately.

He also failed to appear at the Clonmel District Court sitting on January 20 last.

Joseph said that a protection order was served on his brother, the defendant, on March 3 last at approximately 6pm.

Joseph said the defendant then became abusive and threatened to stab him and burn the house down.

Joseph said the defendant “often” called him abusive names.

Joseph said the defendant has threatened him with knives in the past and had to be physically restrained. The court heard that the house had been occupied by the complainant, the defendant and their other brother.

Joseph said it’s a council house in his name and that he continues to reside there with his other brother.

Under cross examination, defence solicitor Aidan Leahy told Joseph that his client said he didn’t threaten him on the date in question.

The solicitor conceded that the protection order was served.

Garda Theresa Moynihan told the court that on March 3 last at approximately 7pm gardaí received a report of a disturbance at Grawn, Ballingarry.

Garda Moynihan said the protection order had been served 45 minutes before gardaí arrived at the address.

Garda Moynihan said gardaí met with Joseph and his other brother at the gate of the house. She then asked the defendant if he had made the alleged threats, to which he responded that he “threatened him but didn’t carry it out”.

Garda Moynihan said gardaí cautioned the defendant, who was sober at the time, and brought him to Templemore Garda Station.

Garda Moynihan said the other brother didn’t say much.

She couldn’t recall an allegation that the defendant threatened to stab Joseph, noting that he threatened to hurt him and was abusive towards him.

When asked by his solicitor what happened, the defendant said “nothing”. The defendant said he was sitting down having dinner and that Joseph said he was talking “loud”.

“I did threaten to hit him before,” the defendant said.

The defendant said he had no drink taken on March 3, and that he had been living at the house the past 50 years.

“I love my brother,” the defendant said.

“He [Joseph] can’t drink because of Covid and takes it out on me,” the defendant continued.

In reply to Garda Superintendent Des Whelan, the defendant said he understood what the protection order meant.

“He [Joseph] didn’t want me there [in the house] since my father died,” the defendant said.

The defendant denied threatening to burn the house down on that date, although he admitted he had done so in the past.

Sergeant Carol O’Leary then informed the court that the defendant has 52 previous convictions, 43 of which were for public order offences dating back to 2002.

Mr Leahy acknowledged that his client, 61, has been before the courts numerous times.

His client has difficulties with alcohol, but has been sober for numerous weeks.

“He [Peter] can be highly strung at times,” the solicitor said.

His client had worked as a labourer on a building site in the past, but is now on a jobseekers’ payment.

Judge Terence Finn said that “quite frankly” the defendant should leave the house.

Noting the public order charges in relation to South Tipperary General Hospital and on O’Connell Street in Clonmel, the judge said the defendant’s behaviour “isn’t confined to the four walls of the family home”.

Judge Finn then sentenced the defendant to a total of 10 months of imprisonment.

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