A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to nine months in prison for threatening to stab a Garda in the head.
Ryan Goldbey (20), from 78 Fana Burca, Knocknacarra – who is already serving an eleven-month sentence for other offences – appeared in custody before Galway District Court last week.
He pleaded guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Garda Dave Foley and Garda Barry Carolan at his home on October 23 last year.
He also pleaded guilty to arming himself with a knife while three Gardai were trying to arrest his brother, Chris Goldbey, and with threatening the Gardai present by saying “I’m going to stick this f..king knife in your head”, in an effort to prevent the arrest of his brother while producing a very large knife and a spindle from the stairs in the course of the dispute.
Inspector Brendan Carroll said the DPP had directed the charges could be dealt with at District Court level on a plea of guilty only.
He said three plain clothes Gardai went to the Goldbey home to effect an arrest and one of the brothers got angry with Ryan for letting “the shades” into the house.
The court heard the defendant had thought the Gardai were there to search the house but when he realised they had come to arrest his brother, he became extremely aggressive.
He armed himself with a knife, which was larger than a breadknife, and ripped a spindle from the bannisters at the top of the stairs.
He threatened to stick the knife in Garda Carolan’s and Garda Foley’s heads as they tried to come up the stairs and threw the spindle down the stairs at them while waving the knife.
He then came at them with the knife and the Gardai called for back-up, but Goldbey was arrested before other Gardai arrived. No injuries were sustained, Insp Carroll confirmed.
Defence solicitor, John Martin, said the Gardai had come to the house to execute a bench warrant for Chris Goldbey’s arrest. Ryan, he said, let them in and told them where his brother’s room was.
“That would not have gone down well,” Judge Mary Fahy said.
Mr Martin agreed it did not. He said a third brother told his client to “cop on” and he did so before Garda back-up arrived.
“My client’s offending behaviour is always down to drink or drugs,” he observed.
In reply to Judge Fahy, Mr Martin said Gardai arrived shortly after 9am and his client was still feeling the effects of the night before.
Insp Carroll disagreed. He said Goldbey was not intoxicated that morning.
Mr Martin said Ryan Goldbey was the father of one child. He said his client was currently serving an eleven-month sentence for a serious assault and he was on a waiting list to see an addiction counsellor in Castlerea Prison.
Insp. Carroll said the accused had 15 previous convictions, including ones for drugs offences, thefts and one for having a weapon in his possession.
Judge Fahy said the maximum sentence the District Court would impose was 24 months and she asked Insp Carroll what the most serious charge was.
He said the threats made to Garda Carroll were the most serious.
Judge Fahy sentenced Goldbey to nine months in prison for that charge, making the sentence consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.
She imposed a concurrent nine-month sentence for the threats made to Garda Foley.
A concurrent five-month sentence was imposed for trespassing at a house and damaging a front door at Cnoc Rua last New Year’s Eve.
A concurrent one-month sentence was also imposed on Goldbey for becoming aggressive with staff and breaching the peace at Cash Creators, Eglinton Street.