Angler produced air pistol after licence request

A fisheries officer who asked an angler for his licence retreated from the riverbank when the fisherman produced an air pistol and held it down by his side.

Detective Garda Pat Condon said the water amenity officer was on duty near the damn at Inniscarra, Co Cork, on May 25 when he approached Constantin Balan, who lives at an apartment at Neptune, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown, Cork.

Balan pleaded guilty to producing the air pistol to intimidate the fisheries officer.

Pat Barrett, defending, said the accused was never in trouble in his life, came from Romania to Ireland four years ago, and has a full-time job.

“This was an uncharacteristic moment of madness… He is a man of impeccable character,” said Mr Barrett.

In fairness to the defendant, Detective Garda Pat Condon agreed that it was very much out of character.

The detective also said that the air pistol did not constitute a weapon and it was not illegal to have it. However, the charge was brought on the basis of it being produced in a manner that could intimidate.

“But I do agree, it does appear to be out of character,” said Det Garda Condon.

The detective said it was only held by the fisherman’s side and was never pointed or used in any other way.

Mr Barrett said the angler only had the air pistol for innocent purposes.

“He would shoot it in the stream, not at anything, just a way of letting off steam,” said Mr Barrett.

Judge Olann Kelleher said he was conscious of what the investigating garda had said and he directed the preparation of a probation report.

The judge put the matter back until February 14.


More in this Section

First look at the iconic Sea King helicopter named after Captain Dara Fitzpatrick

€250k to keep eight families in hotels

Davis differs on hard border

Key official ‘very optimistic’ on commissioner process


Breaking Stories

Bank of Ireland take proceedings against couple over €14.8m loans

Raymond McCord brings High Court challenge against Irish State over border poll

Match for accused man's DNA found on baseball cap recovered from alleged getaway car, court hears

High Court approves €100k sale of lands worth €1m under deal for ward of court's future care

Lifestyle

A heavy burden for such young shoulders caring for parents this Christmas

How to enjoy Christmas without piling on the pounds

The Islands of Ireland: Roaringwater Bay in West Cork once homed 27 people

With ancient roots the pantomime dame is still a firm favourite

More From The Irish Examiner