A Dublin man who aimed a sawn-off rifle at unmarked gardaí has been jailed for seven years for possessing the gun which he claimed he had to give his neighbours "a fright".
David Kavanagh (aged 30) said his "conscience" stopped him firing shots through his neighbours’ front window, minutes before he and his brother were approached by an unmarked patrol car at Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot in the early hours of November 11, 2007.
Kavanagh, of Cherry Orchard Crescent, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the firearms offence and to a cash-in-transit van robbery at a Navan Road petrol station on August 6, 2003.
Judge Desmond Hogan gave Kavanagh a five-year sentence for the van robbery, which he committed shortly after his release from jail on a similar offence, to run concurrently with the gun sentence.
Kavanagh’s brother, Daniel, was also jailed for seven years for shooting through their neighbours’ front window with his single barrel, sawn-off shotgun.
Kavanagh told gardaí his family were feuding with the neighbours about an allegation that his brother had burgled their home some years previously.
Detective Sergeant Denis Smith said his colleagues noticed both brothers had guns when they pulled up alongside them at Cherry Orchard Parade after responding to a "loud bang" in the area.
The brothers pointed their firearms at the gardaí, then ran a short distance before turning and aiming at the car once more.
Det Sgt Smith told Mr Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that his colleagues found the discarded guns in the Cherry Orchard Crescent area once they’d called for backup after the pair ran from view.
David Kavanagh claimed he and his brother decided to "go around and give (the neighbours) a fright" using weapons sourced by Daniel.
Det Sgt Smith said David Kavanagh, a father-of-one with 26 previous convictions, claimed he simply wanted to frighten the neighbours and that his "conscience" stopped him firing the gun.
Detective Garda Carl Keane told Mr Seán Guerin BL, prosecuting, that Kavanagh claimed he was "just going along" with the 2003 cash-in-transit van robbery from which he’d hoped to make €70,000.
His co-accused Aaron Doyle (aged 30) of Mellows Avenue, Finglas, described as the robbery’s "planner and instigator", was jailed for five years for his role.
Det Gda Keane said Kavanagh was one of two passengers in a stolen Mazda car masquerading as a taxi, which the Special Detective Unit saw pull up behind the cash-in-transit van at the service station.
Det Gda Keane said gardaí intervened and seized an unloaded gun from a second passenger as the car occupants donned balaclavas.
Judge Hogan backdated Kavanagh’s sentence to when he entered custody on November 13, 2007.