A man who made violent threats to stab, rape, and more to multiple people at businesses in the city has been sentenced to eight months in jail.
Alan Doherty of the Fairgreen Hostel appeared before Galway District Court charged with numerous counts of threatening and abusive behaviour which included threatening to stab one person, rape others, and other acts of violence.
A lengthy list of charges from between June and August of this year was heard where Mr Doherty threatened members of the public in different businesses, as well as several gardaí.
Several of the charges were contested, with Mr Doherty saying they did not occur as alleged, while he pleaded to several others.
The court heard that on June 27 a barista was working at Gourmet Tart at Raven’s Terrace shortly not long after 1pm when Mr Doherty entered with a lit cigarette.
The barrista asked him to leave, and said that Doherty threatened to “break my teeth” and stab him, and called him a cunt.
When asked by gardaí how this had let him feeling the young man said that he felt like he couldn’t leave the shop afterwards, “I was afraid, he threatened to stab me”.
Gardaí approached Doherty at Claddagh Quay not long afterwards upon receiving a report of the incident. The court heard that he was drinking at the time and said that he would have Garda Carney raped and would take his pension.
The next incident the court heard took place a month later on July 27 at Vocho Mexican Restaurant at Forster Street.
The General Manager of the restaurant said that he as about to go on break when he saw Alan Doherty come in and interact with a customer.
When approached he said that Mr Doherty threatened both him and his girlfriend, who was not present.
When asked by the prosecuting inspector is he could give more details about the threat the young man said that Doherty “said he was going to rape my girlfriend” and put his fist up to his face.
Mr Doherty told the District Court that “never threatened any girl” and hadn’t said anything to anyone.
The final two incidents took place in August at the Coach Station and a nearby café on the Fairgreen road.
Evidence was given that Alan Doherty threatened to bite the lip off a barista at Badger and Dodo café on the Fairgreen road when he was closing up at the end of the day on August 23.
The young man said that Doherty had approached him and asked if there were any leftover scones. When he told him there weren’t Mr Doherty threatened him to the point where he felt the need to lock himself in the café until he left.
A Supervisor at Galway Coach Station also said that he was threatened by Mr Doherty that same week on August 28.
The supervisor at the station said that he had first asked Mr Doherty, who was frequently around the station, to leave when he entered shortly after midday.
However he relented and let Doherty use the vending machine after he said that he would “knock my fucking head off” if he didn’t.
As gardaí were investigating that same day they saw Doherty on Fairgreen acting “erratic” and aggressive and ordered him to leave the area.
It was alleged that he moved off a short distance and entered a business on Forster Street, but returned while gardaí were still taking statements.
Upon returning Doherty was still behaving in an aggressive manner gardaí said, and was arrested for failing to comply with lawful garda directions.
Prior to this hearing Mr Doherty had last been in court in connection with these charges on September 2, when he received bail on condition that he stay away from the Fairgreen road other than the hostel.
When gardaí saw at businesses on that road the next day he was arrested and taken in custody until his hearing this week.
Judge Fahy sentenced Alan Doherty to eight months in prison, the last month of which was suspended, and added a one month concurrent sentence.
The incidents at the Coach Station and Gourmet Tart each came with a three month sentence, the maximum allowable for Abusive, Threatening, or Insulting Behaviour.
The judge added that sentencing for these kinds of Section 6 Public Order charges should be examined considering the severity of the incidents.
“I’m well aware that these are public order matters,” Judge Fahy said, but added that these were extremely serious threats.
A condition of the suspended sentence was the Doherty must stay away from all of the businesses and premises listed in the charges above.