AN ENNISKILLEN man who had an 18-inch machete in a car at the South West Acute Hospital claimed it was for hunting rabbits.
Shane Reilly (20) of Derrin Park appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to possessing a blade in a public place, namely a machete.
The machete had been found by police in the rear passenger footwell of car in the SWAH car park just after midnight on Wednesday, July 26th. Reilly had been seen in the car a short time beforehand, and when spoken to admitted the machete was his. He told the police he used it for hunting, and he’d forgotten to take it out of the car.
Defence barrister Stefan Rafferty said the car belonged to Reilly’s partner’s sister, which he was in regularly, and the machete had been in the car for some time. On the night in question, he said Reilly’s cousin had taken ill and because he’d been drinking, his partner’s sister had driven them to the hospital.
District Judge Micheal Ranaghan asked what kind of animals Reilly, who had previous convictions, hunted with the 18 inch blade. The barrister said Reilly had said he used it to hunt rabbits, and also for cutting briars and so on. Judge Ranaghan said probation services had been sceptical of this explanation in its pre-sentence report.
Pointing out the size of the weapon, which he said was dangerous, Judge Ranaghan sentence Reilly to three months in prison, suspended for three years. He also made a destruction order for the machete.
Judge Ranaghan told Reilly if he was back before the court on a similar charge stating he was “using a machete to hunt baby animals” would not be accepted as an explanation.
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