Man jailed for making hoax 999 call about pub shooting

Brian Johnston attempted to divert gardaí trying to remove him from ex-partner’s home

A man has been jailed for 15 months for making a hoax 999 call claiming there had been a shooting at a pub in order to divert gardaí from trying to remove him from his ex-partner’s home. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

A man has been jailed for 15 months for making a hoax 999 call claiming there had been a shooting at a pub in order to divert gardaí from trying to remove him from his ex-partner’s home. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

 

A man has been jailed for 15 months for making a hoax 999 call claiming there had been a shooting at a pub in an attempt to divert gardaí from trying to remove him from his ex-partner’s home.

Brian Johnston (32), who has 205 previous convictions, was barred from the Focus Ireland property by management who gave permission to gardaí to breach the door to remove him.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that before this could happen, a 999 call came in about a shooting so gardaí and the armed support unit were diverted.

Five garda vehicles attended at the pub before discovering it was a hoax. Two fire brigade units and an ambulance were also dispatched but diverted before arriving.

Johnston’s voice was later identified on the call and a mobile found at the house was linked to the call.

Defence counsel said Johnston had been released from prison shortly before these events and was homeless. He had been living in a car but it was seized by gardaí.

Johnston, of Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, pleaded guilty to making a false report at a property on Cappagh Road, Finglas on June 20th, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a car battery, producing a hammer while appearing to be about to commit an offence, as well as driving without a licence or insurance at Baldoyle on September 25th, 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan said Johnston had been in a place he should not have been and wanted to “thin out” the gardaí. He said it was a “reprehensible act” but was a “crime of desperation” on the night. Judge Nolan imposed concurrent sentences totalling 15 months.