“I’m going to have someone smash your head with a hammer.” “
It was one of the threats against the tenant of a house in the suburb of Cromwellsfort in Wexford, who is said to be thousands of euros in late rent.
The words, and others of a similar nature, were spoken by Alan Nulty of 30 Rossmore Lawns, Templeogue, Dublin.
A man in his 50s learned he worked for a debt collection agency run by Martin Foley.
The result was a lawsuit handled by Judge Martin Nolan sitting on the Wexford Circuit Court.
Nulty pleaded guilty to uttering death threats or causing serious bodily harm at 20 Holly Walk in Cromwellsfort on June 17 of last year.
The court heard how Garda Emer O’Reilly was called home on that date.
There she spoke to landlord David Allen who claimed her tenant Nigel Doolin owed her â¬ 4,000 in rent.
He also said he used the debt collection agency run by Martin Foley.
The accused, Alan Nulty, was also present and he said he was there to collect property to cover the debt.
The guard heard a recording of a man with a Dublin accent who turned out to be the accused.
The recording was made through the door of the house by Doolin.
In addition to the threat of the hammer, the recording also detected a warning that the tenant would have his throat cut while walking his dog.
The Garda witness described the tone of the threats made by the accused as “persuasive”.
The court was told that the debt collection agency was to take 20 percent of whatever was collected.
Nulty told the Guard that he had no intention of following through on the threats he made.
A qualified electrician and father of three, he had worked for a security company for several years.
However, his ability to work had been affected by an arm injury suffered in a motorcycle accident four years ago.
The defense attorney admitted that what had happened at Holly Walk was totally unacceptable, describing it as “a spectacular lack of punctual judgment”.
The judge described the Cromwellsfort incident as an insidious crime with disturbing aspects and he decided to take a few days to formulate his decision.
When recalling the case, the judge noted that the tenant had been threatened in a very serious way.
What Nulty said was delivered in a way that made it believable, and Doolin was rightly terrified.
It was noted that no actual violence had taken place.
The seriousness of the incident was marked by the recording of a three-year prison sentence.
However, that sentence was suspended in its entirety once Nulty agreed to raise â¬ 5,000 to offer the man he tried to intimidate.
“Your good record saved you,” Justice Nolan told the offender of the stay decision, “but it was a tight case. Courts don’t like heavyweights coming in to collect debts.