A man who went berserk at his elderly parents’ home, punching his sister in the face three times and chasing his brother with a bale hook has been jailed for four months.
Patrick McLaughlin, aged 53, from Gaoth Dobhair appeared at Letterkenny District Court facing a number of charges.
The court was told that Gardai were summoned to the McLaughlin household on July 4th last after the accused had committed a number of offences.
His sister Sarah was hiding in her car after being set upon by Patrick during which he punched her three times in the face.
He then ran into the kitchen of the home and grabbed a cheese knife and a bale hook and was threatening his brother James.
Gardai told the court that McLaughlin banged the bale hook on the ground and threatened his brother saying “I’m going to stick it straight through you.”
All of the incidents were witnessed by Mrs McLaughlin’s 15-year-old son who was present at the time.
The court heard that Patrick McLaughlin has a total of 40 previous convictions for a variety of offences including criminal damage, assault and public order.
Defence solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client had been doing well for the past 18 months but there had been a lapse in his medication.
He said McLaughlin could not remember the extent of what had happened at his parents home.
He asked Judge Paul Kelly that rather than sending his client to jail he could give him a suspended sentence under the agreement that he stay away from the family home in Gaoth Dobhair.
Judge Kely said he accepted that McLaughlin had difficulties but stressed that he had an appalling record.
“There was a fearsome weapon produced which must have been terrifying for anyone at the scene,” he said.
He jailed McLaughlin for four months for the possession of the bale hook and a further three months for assaulting Sarah McLaughlin with both sentences to run concurrently.