Man who threatened to kill Gardai avoids jail after turning in his… – Donegal Daily
A man who threatened to kill a Garda and was caught with a large stash of drugs has avoided jail time after turning his life around.
Shaun Strain appeared in Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with uttering death threats and also selling and supplying drugs.
Strain, from the Oldtown area of Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to the charges.
However, the court heard that the former drug addict managed to completely change his lifestyle.
He is clean, has moved to Killybegs where he has a partner and a full time job and he no longer associates with people who were considered bad influences in his life.
Garda Detective Michelle Kelly described the incidents that led to Strain’s arrest and court appearance in February 2017.
Detective Kelly described an incident at Ros Suilghe in Oldtown on February 20, 2017 when Strain’s sister Hannah filed charges against the accused.
Garda Alan O’Mahony and a colleague investigated but were met with a torrent of abuse from Strain who mocked Garda O’Mahony who had been assaulted by his brother when he was not in service.
Strain continued to abuse Gardai and was arrested.
While in police custody, he told Garda O’Mahony that his brother, who had been jailed for the assault, was out and warned the Garda to watch his back.
Leaving Garda station, Strain said, “My brother took you down town, kicked you in the head, you windy bastard, watch your back.”
The next day, Gardai had to go to the Strain house again and Strain yelled at them, “See this Garda who was here yesterday, you tell him that I am going to take his uniform off. Tell him I’m going to kill him.
Strain then gestured, putting his fingers to his throat.
Detective Kelly said Garda O’Mahony was made aware of the threat and took it seriously.
She also told the court that Gardai obtained a warrant and called the Strain home on May 31, 2019 in connection with a search for drugs.
Cocaine and cannabis as well as items used to sell drugs, including a digital scale and checklist, were found.
Sean Strain said he was holding the items for another man and helping him in exchange for his own drug addiction.
The court heard that Strain had a previous conviction for criminal damage.
Strain’s attorney, Mr. Ciaran Elders, asked for leniency from the court stating that Strain was a changed man.
He said his client had special needs as well as a learning disability.
However, since those incidents, he had completely turned his back on his old ways and friends and started a new life for himself in Killybegs.
He was drug free, now had a full time job, had a partner, and had distanced himself from all “negative influences” in his life.
Sentencing Judge John Aylmer said the threat to kill Garda O’Mahony was very serious and deserved a two-and-a-half-year sentence before mitigation.
He said it was also clear that he was actively dealing drugs, but put him at the bottom of the scale, but also deserved a two-year pre-mitigation sentence.
However, Judge Aylmer added that these offenses took place when he was a young man if he was 19 years old and at a time when he was a heavy drug user.
He noted that he has made great strides in rehabilitation and there have been huge changes in his life.
He said he was proposing to reduce the two-and-a-half-year sentence for the death threat to two years, but would suspend that sentence for two years.
He warned Strain that if he had any trouble during this time, the phrase would be activated.
Judge Aylmer added: “Hopefully that will be enough incentive for him to stay out of trouble.”
Regarding the drug charges, the judge said he was reducing the sentence to sixteen months, but to allow Strain’s continued rehabilitation he was replacing it with 240 hours of community service.
Man Who Threatened To Kill Gardai Avoids Jail After Turning His Life Around was last modified: July 9, 2022 by