Two brothers have been jailed for a serious incident involving their father.
At Naas District Court on Wednesday last, July 26, William Donoghue and Daniel Donoghue, both with addresses at 1 Drogheda Row, Monasterevin, were both jailed for offences which involved use of an axe on their father, Liam, at 1 Drogheda Row, Monasterevin, on April 11 last.
Both men apologised for their actions and their father got into the witness box to ask Judge Desmond Zaidan that they not be jailed.
Garda Inspector Patsy Glennon said that the Director of Public Prosecution consented to the case being heard in the District Court on a guilty plea only.
There were pleas from the defendants to charges of assault, threat to kill and criminal damage.
The court was told that Mr Donoghue Sr was at home looking at the football on the television around 9.30pm when his two sons burst into the house and threatened to kill him. An axe was used but he escaped serious injury. There was a threat to kill him.
It emerged that the men had been intoxicated. “They were stoned out of their heads,” the court was told.
Garda Daniel O’Shea, who investigated the attacks, said he spoke to the men and of what they said to him “nothing made sense to me”.
The brothers have been in jail for four and a half months.
The court was told that Daniel Donoghue had four previous convictions, including for theft and unauthorised possession of drugs.
He had also been convicted in June for an incident at SuperValu in Monasterevin during which staff were threatened.
William Donoghue had 24 previous convictions, including 13 road traffic offences, five for theft, one for misuse of drugs, one for stealing a car, one for a hit and run, and three for public order offences.
Judge Zaidan concluded from the reports that the men were “ok” until they started taking drugs and drink.
Of their father, Liam, Judge Zaidan said that it took courage to attend court and give evidence against his own children.
Liam Donoghue said he had work for his sons and did not want them to go to jail.
But he said he did not want them living with him at the moment. “They are completely different under drink and drugs. I would not tolerate that.”
Judge Zaidan said to him that he could not watch them 24/7.
“I love my sons,” Mr Donoghue Sr told the court. “I don’t want them spending any more time in jail.”
He said that there had been no laceration of his skin in the attack.
Garda Inspector Patsy Glennon said that the attack could have been fatal.
The Inspector put it to Mr Donoghue Sr that he had some reservations about the non-jailing of his sons and that the judge had to do what was best for society. “I understand that,” said the father.
The court heard that William Donoghue was seen as the ringleader and that Daniel Donoghue was diagnosed with autism and attention deficit disorder. When he was three and a half, Daniel had been knocked down by a motorcycle.
William Donoghue said that he was still upset with what he did to his father. He said that he took tablets and he did not know what they were.
Daniel Donoghue, who was visibly upset, told the court that he was “upset and sad” over the incident with his father.
He said they had been speaking with their father over the phone regularly as they “did not want him to have to go to jail to see us”.
Judge Zaidan said there would be a risk of a 10-year sentence if the matter had gone to the Circuit Court.
He said that the maximum sentence he could impose in the District Court is two years.
The Oireachtas has considered raising this to three years, but that has not happened yet, the judge said.
He opted to jail the brothers.
He jailed William Donoghue for 12 months for threatening to kill his father and 12 months consecutive for the production of an axe — two years overall.
He jailed Daniel Donoghue for six months for the basic assault and 12 months for criminal damage, 18 months in total.
He directed that both successfully complete a drug and drink awareness programme. He said that if they did not successfully complete the course, and were released early and then re offended again, the blame would lie at the door of the prison authorities.
Both sentences have been backdated to the time the brothers went into custody on April 12 this year.