A Ballybofey man who turned up to a house with a knife and made threats was given a four-month prison sentence.

Darius McAteer, who is currently serving a nine-month sentence at Castlerea Prison, appeared via video link to Letterkenny District Court.

McAteer was charged with incidents on July 11th 2018, which occurred while he was on bail. McAteer’s bail was revoked as a result of these incidents.

The Court heard that McAteer had played pool in the company of others at Planet Youth in Ballybofey.

Two teenagers left the premises, Inspector Michael Harrison told the Court, after becoming ‘uncomfortable’.

“After she and her friend returned home, Darius let himself in and asked to play the Playstation,” Inspector Harrison said.

After McAteer was asked to leave, he sent a number of threatening messages to the pair.

He said in one: ‘I’ll be over to put your windows through’ while another read: ‘Your dad will be getting cut up’.

One told McAteer that the Gardaí would be called and he responded in a series of messages: ‘Go on, call them now, I dare you’, ‘Fucking do it, you’ll get the same’.

A short time later, McAtreer turned up to the house with a knife, threatening to ‘cut all of your faces off’.

McAteer has over 20 previous convictions.

“His difficulties have been recited on a number of occasions and he has been seen by a psychiatrist and a psychologist,” solicitor for McAteer, Mr Frank Dorrian, said.

“It seems that he sees each new day as a new start, but he finds difficulty in connecting with the previous.
“His social skills are inadequate. The encounter was unfortunate and very unwelcome. The texts were not as overbearing as it sounds. His reaction became more negative.”

McAteer told the Court that he is attending school and workshops in Castlerea.

Judge Paul Kelly sentenced McAteer to four months in prison, to run concurrent and backdated the term to December 17th.

“It is very difficult to overestimate the level of fear resulting from these activities,” Judge Kelly said.

“We are very familiar with Mr McAteer’s problems and it is notable that strident efforts have been made on his behalf to get him the help that he needs.

“Unfortunately, the fact that other people get hurt, injured or distressed and they have to be protected.”


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