Edwin Long, of 72 Edward Walsh Rd, Togher, pleaded not guilty to intimidating Peter Graham on April 5, 2013, at Glasheen Rd, Cork, with the intention of interfering with an investigation or the course of justice. Mr Graham was a witness in another case at the time.
Brendan Kelly, defending, submitted at the close of the prosecution evidence there was insufficient evidence on which a jury could convict Mr Long of the charge. He said there had been an exchange of words between the parties but that this was insufficient to put to the jury considering the charge.
Mr Kelly said the jury would have been invited to speculate on whether the defendant knew of the court case in which Mr Graham was to have been a witness.
In a legal submission in the absence of the jury, Mr Kelly argued: “The jury would have to be satisfied his intention specifically was to interfere with evidence in a case. I do not think it is safe to go to the jury.”
Dermot Sheehan, prosecuting, said there was ample evidence of a threat being made and of its menacing nature, and that Mr Long had been warned of Mr Graham being a prosecution witness and to stay away from him.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “I accede to the defence application. I think there is a lack of clarity in the prosecution.”
The jury was recalled and told to find the accused not guilty.
Earlier, Mr Graham testified he was walking his dog on Glasheen Rd when he saw Mr Long driving. “He was staring at me. I didn’t quite see the other guy in the car. It was a blank stare. It felt intimidating. I felt nervous. It lasted 10 or 15 seconds. The car pulled out across the road and in to the entrance of a park across the road. He walked three-quarters of the way across the road.
“He said they had my brother’s (John) address in Thailand, and ‘you and Neil — my other brother — are going to get it as well’. I said, ‘is that right?’ The conversation ended. I walked away. He walked away.”
Mr Kelly said Mr Long would deny making any such threats.