Man sentenced to two and a half years for trying to deter witness

A man who took part in prolonged and violent attack on a couple’s home to try to stop their son giving evidence in an upcoming trial has been sentenced to two and half years.

Ian Cahill’s defence counsel described his actions as that of a drunk juvenile who was trying to impress an older man.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, asked Judge Martin Nolan to accept that there was nothing more sinister in Cahill’s “disgraceful” behaviour than “youthful recklessness”.

Cahill (aged 20) of Dromheath Drive, Mulhuddart pleaded guilty to threatening menace or intimidating the parents of David Quinn with the intention of perverting the course of justice at the couple’s home on Wellpark Avenue, in Blanchardstown on April 17, 2010. He had no previous convictions at the time.

David Quinn was due to give evidence in the trial of brothers Alan (aged 30) and Jamie (aged 27) Fay who were charged with assaulting him causing harm in June 2006.

The Fays of Killegland Meadows, Ashbourne, Co Meath, were later convicted in June 2011. Alan was sentenced to three years while Jamie was sentenced to three and half years.

The court heard that Cahill’s co-accused Barry Walsh (aged 24) of Huntstown Rise, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 was sentenced to two and half years in prison last year by Judge Nolan. He pleaded guilty to the same offence as Cahill and had 41 previous convictions.

Detective Garda Bernard Connaughton told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, the Quinn’s 11-year-old son was also at home when Walsh and Cahill started banging on their door in an attempt to get into the house.

Mr Quinn heard the youths shouting “your son is a rat; he is not to go to court”. The couple called the gardaí and the youths smashed the windscreen of their car and the glass panels in the front door before running away.

The Quinns saw the two culprits on a green outside their house before they came back towards the house carrying a large pole.

Det Gda Connaughton said Mr Quinn grabbed a broken snooker cue to protect his home and was determined the two youths were not going to get into his house.

The pair came at the couple swinging the pole and trying to hit Mr Quinn while Walsh shouted: “Next time it will be an AK-47, don’t come to court, they are my friends.”

Cahill held up a concrete block and used it to threaten Mrs Quinn while her husband cut his hand as he was trying to get the pole from Walsh. He later received two stitches to the wound.

A bottle, a rock and a brick were then thrown at the house and Mrs Quinn’s car, shattering the back window of the vehicle before the pair “just strolled away”.

Ms Biggs asked Judge Nolan to accept that Cahill’s actions on the night were not those of someone trying to avoid arrest as he had left his phone and DNA on a bottle at the scene.

She said he is involved in a youth service in his local community and doing a carpentry course there.

His father has been serving time in prison for most of Cahill’s life and has not had much impact on his life. Ms Biggs said her client was genuinely remorseful for his appalling behaviour on the night.

Det Gda Connaughton accepted that Cahill has no affiliation with gangland crime.

Judge Nolan said there was a severe level of violence that night and it had been a prolonged attack on the Quinn’s home.

He said Cahill must have known what the attack was about but accepted that he has tried to reform.

“This is a very serious crime to deter a witness going to court. It had insidious intent and they did it with gusto,” Judge Nolan said.

He sentenced Cahill to two and half years in prison but suspended the last 14 months after accepting that Cahill was not the leader.

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