Garda saw accused with shotgun at scene of crime

A man who denied an attempted aggravated burglary while armed with a shotgun was seen at the scene of the crime by an armed member of the Garda Regional Support Unit, a judge and jury was told yesterday.

Niall Fitzpatrick, aged 46, of Corrin Close, the Glen, Cork, denied charges of possession of a Remington 12-guage, pump-action shotgun and ammunition; attempted burglary; and attempted aggravated burglary at the home of Patrick Glavin at Rougrane, Glanmire, on August 11, 2013.

Judge David Riordan and a jury began hearing the case against Fitzpatrick at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Brendan Nix, defending, during cross-examination of one garda scene-of-crime examiner, said: “My client does not know because he was not there.”

Sergeant Daniel Cohalan of the Regional Support Unit testified that he and colleagues were in a shed outside the Glavin house at 10.30pm on August 11 last year — one officer having left a window ajar at the office in the house.

Sgt Cohalan said he saw three men approaching the house and one of them climbed up on the windowsill to the office where the window was open.

An officer detonated a stun grenade to disorientate the men. Sgt Cohalan said he activated the torch of his submachine gun and pointed it at the accused, also activating the red light laser of the weapon.

Sgt Cohalan said: “I could see three persons staring at me. In the middle was Niall Fitzpatrick, the defendant in this case. Mr Fitzpatrick was holding a shotgun... I shouted, ‘Armed gardaí, drop your weapon’.”

He added: “I was seriously concerned Mr Fitzpatrick was going to shoot me or one of my colleagues. The weapon was not pointed at me but I was extremely concerned it would be raised and pointed at me or my colleagues.”

He said the three men jumped over a wall to get away.

The trial continues.

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