A man who was charged with threatening and abusing a Garda who called to his home to examine his social welfare payments has been found not guilty.

Pensioner Desmond Morrison, aged 73, appeared at Letterkenny District Court facing the single charge which allegedly took place at his home at Gort na Greine in Letterkenny on June 8th 2018.

The court was told that Garda Sgt Harvey Maughan called to Mr Morrison’s home in his role as a Garda and a social welfare inspector.

Garda Maughan explained why he was there and he said that Morrison became irate and aggressive and he “square up” to him.

Sgt Maughan said he retreated back and Mr Morrison called him a “prick.”

The Garda said that Morrison then followed him out onto the public footpath and called him a “f***ing prick” again.

He then allegedly said to Sgt Maughan that it would take a better man than him to stop his social welfare payments.

Morrison then began videoing the Garda on his mobile phone and Sgt Maughan said he decided to leave the area.

Solicitor for Morrison, Ms Maureen Gallagher, put a number of allegations to Sgt Maughan which he denied.

Amongst them were that Sgt Maughan had said that he would have Mr Morrison’s payments stopped which the Garda denied.

Ms Gallagher also said that Under Section 6 of the Public Order Act, the offence would have to take place in a public place where members of the public have access to and which she claimed did not as it was outside Mr Morrison’s home.

Giving his verdict Judge Paul Kelly said that while Mr Morrison’s reply to Sgt Maughan was unpleasant and vulgar, he did not believe it met the requirements of a charge under Section 6 and dismissed the case.


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