John Jameson, aged around 60, of Cloontarrive, Gortatlea, Tralee, Co Kerry, could not see why he had been prosecuted in the first place. He said during an appeal yesterday: “It wasn’t loaded. It might as well have been a hurley.”
When Garda Sharon Sweeney caught up with Jameson and put to him the allegations made by Pereton Okudu, he had a different version of events.
As he was leaving the guard following an interview, he turned around and commented: “I’ll tell you he needed plenty of Daz because he fairly shit himself after he saw me.”
When Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin reminded him at Cork Circuit Appeals Court of this comment, Jameson added to the initial remark and said: “He must have.”
In cross-examination, Frank Nyhan, solicitor for the State, said to Jameson: “I don’t think it was a joke.”
Jameson said he did not think it was just a joke when Mr Okudu said to him that he would mind his truck for him for €50.
Mr Okudu said he had only said that as a joke.
The whole incident occurred at Marina Commercial Park, Centre Park Rd, at lunchtime on November 18, 2015.
Mr Okudu has been working at a premises there for the past eight years and had popped out to eat his sandwich in the fresh air.
Jameson drove in to get some paint at one of the shops.
Mr Okudu said the man walked towards him. Mr Okudu asked him if he was looking for somebody but said the appellant ignored him and said nothing. He said Jameson started cursing and swearing at him.
Jameson said it all started when Mr Okudu looked for €50 to mind his truck.
Mr Okudu testified that the man returned to his truck and drove it over towards him.
“I thought he was going to give me the finger,” he said. “I saw a gun and I ran. It was pointed towards my direction. I reported it to the guards.”
Jameson denied producing the gun and pointing it at Mr Okudu. He said the gun was on the floor in the cab of his truck.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said Jameson should not have been driving around Centre Park Rd “with a Kalashnikov”.
Jameson said he only had the .22 rifle in the truck because he was bringing it to a gunsmith in north Cork to repair it.
Asked who this was and where he lived, Jameson said he was an Englishman whose name he could not remember and he did not know where the house was.
The judge said: “This court is in Cork, not on the other side of the county bounds. Fairy stories might be OK in Tralee — you had a gun for a man you don’t know and you don’t know where he lives.”
Jameson said he had kept licensed guns and dogs for years without any problem.
The judge affirmed the €200 fine on him for having the firearm in his possession in Cork on November 18 2015.
Referring to €200 fines imposed at the district court for producing the gun and being threatening, the judge said he would take those into consideration instead.
“In my view you should never have a gun again,” said the judge.