Sentencing for trespass at U2 drummer’s house adjourned

Gerard O’Neill (31) was armed with golf club and told gardaí he’d infect them with HIV

The sentencing of a Dublin man found guilty of trespassing at U2 drummer Larry Mullen’s home has been adjourned until October. File photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin.

The sentencing of a Dublin man found guilty of trespassing at U2 drummer Larry Mullen’s home has been adjourned until October. File photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin.

 

The sentencing of a Dublin man found guilty of trespassing at U2 drummer Larry Mullen’s home has been adjourned until October.

Dublin District Court heard Gerard O’Neill (31) was armed with a golf club and told gardaí he would infect them with HIV.

A decision is awaited on whether a suspended sentence O’Neill already had would be activated as a result of the incident.

O’Neill, of Orchid House, James Street, Dublin 8, was “foaming at the mouth” when he resisted arrest and threatened the officers who responded to a 6am report of intruders on the grounds of the musician’s home.

He had been found guilty earlier of trespassing at Claremont Lodge, Claremont Road, Howth, north Co Dublin in a manner causing fear in another person, on October 19th last.

O’Neill was also found guilty on other charges in connection with the incident: resisting arrest and production of a golf club as a weapon capable of causing injury.

Threats to kill

Judge Ann Ryan heard O’Neill had 55 prior convictions and remanded him in custody. She also deferred ruling on the remaining charge of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Garda Stephen Donnelly and Garda Aishling O’Neill who caught him at Mullen’s property.

A security guard, Dan Suchan, earlier told the judge the entrance to Claremont Lodge has a sign warning “trespassers will be prosecuted” and saying “private”. He was in the security hut and heard a beep from a motion sensor and his CCTV monitor showed a man in the bushes and a woman was also present.

He went out and tried to speak to the them but after getting no response he called gardaí. He said it was dark and he had concerns property would be damaged, a fire started or somebody would be “jumped”.

Garda Donnelly said he arrived with Garda O’Neill and they walked from the security hut to the main road to look for the intruders.

He said O’Neill came out of bushes and “had a golf club” that he feared O’Neill would use as a weapon against him and his colleague.Gardaí then noticed O’Neill’s partner emerging and she was arrested.

At this point O’Neill became aggressive and “threatened to kill gardaí”. Garda Donnelly said O’Neill shouted shouted, “I’ve HIV and threatened to spit at us and bite us to infect us”.

Garda O’Neill said he was “foaming at the mouth” from “sheer anger” and she did not believe he was under the influence of any intoxicant at the time.