Man pulled knife on dog walkers near Kildare canal

Judge worry over public safety

By Leinster Leader Reporter

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Man produced knife to dog walkers near Kildare canal

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A 46 year old man charged with two offences of producing knives to walkers in the Sallins area has been remanded in custody for a further week so that the Court could be given assurance about his future behaviour.

Robert Serafin, of no fixed address, appeared before Naas District Court on November 14.

He had previously been in court charged with producing a knife to strangers in two incidents and his case had been adjourned for reports to the Court.

One incident took place at Sallins Wharf on June 6 this year when he had two knives.

A second took place at Lock 1, Canal Bank, Osberstown, Sallins on August 12 this year.

Judge Desmond Zaidan commented that Mr Serafin had “a fixation with knives.”

In one incident, two people with a dog tried to pass Mr Serafin who was urinating and he produced a knife.

A man who said he was Mr Serafin's brother told the Court  that it was a knife he used for fishing and that he produced it because he was afraid of the dog.

Willie Hughes BL, representing Mr Serafin legally, said his client was a man with many difficulties. Mr Hughes asked that his client be released so that he he could take up residence in an integrated living unit (Mount Offaly House). He had been offered a place but had to take it up that day.

Judge Zaidan was handed a 15 page report from a psychiatrist. “It is very detailed,” said the judge who noted the report said substance abuse was a risk for Mr Serafin. “Nothing unusual there,” said Judge Zaidan.

Mr Hughes said his client had stopped drinking and taking illegal drugs.

Judge Zaidan said the report said Mr Serafin had a “history of psychotic episodes” and had spent time in the Central Mental Hospital.

He had “paranoid delusions about a woman called Anna.” Judge Zaidan also said that Mr Serafin had failed to keep outpatient appointments after being discharged from the Central Mental Hospital.

“I feel sorry for him but he has himself to blame,” said Judge Zaidan.

The judge noted that the people out walking their dog that night were “in shock.”

Judge Zaidan asked what would happen if Mr Serafin was released and did not take his medication. “How do you legislate for that?

Mr Hughes asked again that Mr Serafin, who was in custody, be released into sheltered accommodation. If he was not engaging with the  group, the Court could take appropriate action then.

Judge Zaidan said he wanted someone from the group of the Central Mental Hospital to come to Court and give some assurances about Mr Serafin, who, he said, was “vulnerable.”

The judge said he would remand Mr Serafin custody for a week.

“I don't feel comfortable. I fear he will fall off the wagon or produce a knife if someone looks at him the wrong way.”