Belcoo man snapped at neighbour’s barking dog

A BELCOO man who damaged his neighbour’s fence because of barking dogs has been given a suspended sentence.
Gerald McGrath (65) of Fairview Lane, Belcoo appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday charged with committing criminal damage to a wooden fence and injuring a dog.
On September 9th 2018, police received a report from the injured party who claimed the defendant had hit her fence several times with a spade leaving indents, and a dog was also struck during the incident, and was hurt but there were no vet bills.
The court heard that McGrath had grown angry at the constant barking and noise that the dogs were making, and the spade went through the fence but the defendant denied causing any injury to the dog.
On the night, the defendant was deemed unfit for interview, but a spade was seized from an outhouse of his property.
The defendant was later interviewed and gave a full account of what happened accepting it was wrong. Defence solicitor Michelle McVeigh said McGrath’s property backs onto the victim’s property, and he has been living in the house for over 20 years, and the injured party is a tenant in the other house with three dogs in the back garden.
The court heard there was ongoing noise and ‘excessive barking’ and Ms McVeigh explained that her client banged on the fence, and he accepts he was reckless while having consumed alcohol.
Ms McVeigh also added that McGrath had previously reported the dogs to the RSPCA, the local council and the police.
Ms McVeigh explained that since the incident McGrath has abstained from alcohol, and due to health conditions, community service would not be an appropriate sentence.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan gave McGrath credit for his guilty plea, before sentencing him to two months in prison, suspended for one year. McGrath was also ordered to pay compensation to the injured party.

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