A BUNCRANA man, who threatened to punch his former partner’s teeth out, has been fined for a public order offence before Buncrana Court.
James McMenamin, 36, with an address of Flat B, 23 Lower Main Street, Buncrana, was charged with being threatening, abusive and/or insulting outside Buncrana Courthouse, at Lower Main Street, on December 8, 2016.
He also faced charges of criminal damage and possession of a knife at Buncrana Garda Station on December 31, 2017, and being threatening and abusive, intoxicated and giving a false name to Gardaí outside the Atlantic Bar on the same date.
McMenamin pleaded guilty to all charges before him, when he appeared before Buncrana District Court.
Garda Inspector David Murphy said on December 8, 2016, Garda Hooks was on duty at Buncrana Court when a lady, who was the ex partner of Mr. McMenamin, approached him.
“Ms. Kelly told Garda Hooks that Mr. McMenamin threatened to punch her and knock her teeth out,” said Insp. Murphy.
“They were in court for family law purposes. Garda Hooks later spoke with Mr. McMenamin but he said he wanted to seek legal advice first. He was later approached the following March but he declined to make a statement,” he added.
In a separate incident gardaí were on patrol in Buncrana on New Year’s Eve night and at 11.10pm they saw males involved in an altercation outside the Atlantic Bar.
Insp. Murphy said Gda. Kelly spoke with James McMenamin and made a demand of his name and address.
“He said he was Seamus from Portlaoise but Garda Kelly suspected this was a false name so he arrested him but at this stage Mr. McMenamin became aggressive and resisted arrest,” explained Insp. Murphy.
“At the Garda Station he was searched and a small knife was found on him. He was then placed in the cells and he damaged the mattress, pulling it apart.”
Insp. Murphy said the damage amounted to €279, but he said Mr. McMenamin returned to the Garda Station after being released and paid €280.
Judge Paul Kelly queried the cost of the mattress being €279, but Insp. Murphy said it is specifically designed.
The court heard that McMenamin had previous convictions for assault, drugs charges in 2012 and 2011 and public order offences dating back to 2002. Insp. Murphy said he had 20 previous convictions in total.
Defence solicitor Frank Dorrian said both Mr. McMenamin and his partner had been upset and tempers were frayed. He said he shouldn’t have said what he did but that it was an ‘exaggerated threat’ that he never intended to carry through.
“He reacted badly to a stressful situation and has previous convictions – he lived a chaotic lifestyle,” said Mr. Dorrian.
“But his attitude is improving, he is trying his best and has come a long way.”
In relation to the other incident, Mr. Dorrian said the false name was Mr. McMenamin being sarcastic but his comedy ‘fell on deaf ears’.
Mr. Dorrian said Mr. McMenamin went to White Oaks previously but had a relapse around the New Year. He said his client is ‘back on track’ now and back going to meetings.
Regarding the incident McMenamin’s former partner, Judge Paul Kelly applied the probation act.
However he fined him €100 for being threatening and abusive to Garda Kelly on New Year’s Eve. The criminal damage was struck out as he repaid the money to the gardaí and the possession of a knife charge was taken into consideration after Judge Kelly heard that it was a small penknife.
The remaining charges were struck out.