Man charged over damage accused of ‘copycat’ offence

A man facing charges of turning up armed with knives to cause damage at a neighbour’s house in November committed the same crimes last Wednesday night, it was alleged yesterday, as he applied to be released on bail.

Dean Ahern, of 23 Churchfield Green, Cork, was accused of damaging another house at Churchfield Green on November 3, 2017. That case could not go ahead yesterday. He was also charged with fresh counts of causing damage and possession of knives at the same house on Wednesday, March 21.

He applied through his solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, to be released on bail yesterday, guaranteeing “110%” that he would not go near the neighbours if released.

As soon as Mr Ahern failed in his application for bail, he shouted threats at the neighbouring family whose home was allegedly damaged in November and again on Wednesday.

Judge John King said: “I readily accept the defendant has certain difficulties. Unfortunately, there is fairly compelling evidence that he committed some offence against people whom he was accused of committing the same offence previously.”

In respect of Wednesday, Mr Ahern was charged with causing damage to front door and windows at the neighbour’s house and producing two large kitchen knives to intimidate two occupants.

The house in question is not next door but is across the green from Mr Ahern’s home, Garda Alan Cassidy said at Cork District Court.

Garda Cassidy said there was a Garda objection to bail due to the nature and seriousness of the alleged offences of causing criminal damage and carrying knives.

It was alleged that, on March 21, Dean Ahern caused extensive damage to the front door and windows with a crowbar while wearing a balaclava and that he later scaled a large wall to get away and discarded the crowbar and two knives.

Garda Cassidy said there drugs in Mr Ahern’s possession which gardaí believe, affected the defendant’s behaviour and way of thinking.

One of the reasons for the objection to bail was the close proximity of the defendant to the complainants. Gardaí believed there was no way the defendant could avoid them.

“If released I fear that offences like this could be committed again and I fear for the safety of the injured parties,” Garda Cassidy said.

Defence solicitor Diarmuid Kelleher said the defendant’s girlfriend lives at Wellington Rd and Mr Ahern could live with her to stay away from the complainants.

“It would still be my fear that there would be further incidents,” Garda Cassidy said.

Mr Kelleher said Mr Ahern accepted himself the reality that he should not be living in the area.

Mr Ahern said: “You have my word that won’t happen. I have nothing to be going to that terrace for. I will go to my appointments and take my tablets… 110% I won’t go near them. I won’t throw one look in the wrong direction. If I see them coming, I will cross the street.”

Inspector John Deasy said: “You commit an exact copycat offence at the same location and you say that members of the public have nothing to fear from you.”

Judge King remanded Ahern in custody to allow time for directions to be obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions.


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