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28 Nov 2021

Ex-NYPD officer fined at Glenties District Court for using threatening and abusive behaviour

Defendant denied charge in relation to incident with elderly Belfast man

Ex-NYPD officer fined at Glenties District Court  for using threatening and abusive behaviour

An ex-NYPD officer has been found guilty of using threatening and abusive behaviour towards another man, after a contested case, which was heard at Glenties District Court. 

Patrick Mulkerin, (51) of Straid, Glencolmcille denied the charge in relation to an incident at Gannew, Glencolmcille on August 22, 2018. 

In evidence, David Cinnamon, an elderly Belfast native, told the court he was out for a walk when the defendant came up to him “nose to nose” and said that he owned the property that Mr Cinnamon's friend Philomena McCullagh was living in. 

“He said a lot of things, he threatened me and he is about 6’ 5”. It was in the middle of the road, and it was around mid- day.  

“I knew him as a next door neighbour,” Mr Cinnamon said. 

Mr Cinnamon said the defendant told him that Miss McCullagh “should not be there”. 

“I was being harassed”. 

The witness said he was from Belfast and was visiting Ms McCullagh . 

He said he knew there was a dispute between the defendant and Ms McCullagh about ownership of the property. 

Defence Counsel Gareth McGrory said the defendant would say that the witness was on the curtilage of his bungalow which was close to the disputed property. 

The witness rejected this assertion and that he was looking in the window of the defendant’s Dodge vehicle. 

When asked to be more specific about the alleged remarks made by the defendant, the witness said he was suffering from memory loss. 

The witness did say the defendant told him to f*** off. 

When the counsel told the witness that the defendant was a long- term police officer in New York and at no stage did he go nose to nose with the witness, the latter said: “He’s a liar”. 

The counsel said the ex-officer was trained to avoid such situations. 

After the incident, the witness went into Ms McCullagh’s house, the court heard. 

Philomena McCullagh told the court that Mr Cinnamon told what had happened with Mr Mulkerin. 

She said she told me to make a complaint to the gardai as it was a verbal assault, Mr Cinnamon maintained.                         

She phoned the gardai and she and Mr Cinnamon went to the gardai in Carrick where he made a statement of complaint. 

Mr McGrory said this witness was not present when the alleged incident happened. 

She said the door was open and she heard raised voices and one of them was a US one and it was August 22, 2018. 

The counsel said there was no reference to her door being open, raised voices or a US one in the statement she made to gardai shortly after the alleged matter. 

She said she did not think it was relevant at the time. 

The witness said she owned a property that was disputed by Mr Mulkerin and she felt threatened. 

Mr Mulkerin told the court he had come to Ireland in 2014 and had been a police officer for 16 years in New York. 

He said he ran a small farm and was renovating a few houses. 

When asked if he recalled August 22, 2018, he said it was his birthday. 

When asked if there was any incident, he said it “passed off unremarkable”. 

He said he was standing at the front door of his bungalow when he saw a man who was not just looking into his pick- up truck but was also looking in the window. 

This witness said he walked over to the man. 

Quite a few people looked at his vehicle as it was unusual, and this could happen from 10-15 times a week. 

Mr Mulkerin said he asked Mr Cinnamon: “Can I help you”? 

 The other party continued to walk on “my driveway” near the property that was in dispute. 

“It was so unremarkable, three years ago, there was no altercation and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous”. 

“For him to say it was nose to nose, all my training goes against that. It is preposterous.”

This witness denied that he was nose-to-nose with Mr Cinnamon and he did not tell him to f*** off. 

He added that it was such a non-event and if it was significant, he had a journal. 

The defendant said he did not recall the time of the alleged matter. 

Inspector Seamus McGonigle wondered why, as a highly trained NYPD officer, he did not take notes of the matter. 

The defendant denied that he threatened Mr Cinnamon. 

“I just said, can I help you? He was on my driveway looking at my vehicle."

Inspector McGonigle said that Mr Cinnamon was an aged and infirm man. 

The ex-officer said he took pity on the man. 

Judge Raymond Finnegan said he was satisfied that an incident had taken place and he preferred Mr Cinnamon’s evidence. 

In mitigation, Defence Counsel Mr McGrory said his client was a 51-year-old ex-NYPD officer who was in Ireland for six years, had a partner and one child whom he cares for. 

He was running a small farm in Donegal and had no previous convictions. 

Judge Finnegan fined the defendant €300 and fixed leave a circuit court appeal at €250 cash. 

Meanwhile, in a different matter the defendant opted for circuit court trial on a charge of alleged theft of builder’s tools in 2019. 

He is charged with stealing two lump hammers, a claw hammer, a nail bar and a bolster to the value of €200 the property of Francis John Cunningham at Gannew and Curreen, Glencolmcille on September 25, 2019. 

 

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