Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 May 2015

Farmer threatened to rape woman in land dispute

A row over a will led a farmer to threaten another man's life, cause damage costing €43,000 and threaten to rape his victim's pregnant wife.

Denis Gacquin, of Cornalee, Curraghboy, Co Roscommon, was jailed for two years yesterday after he admitted threatening to kill Seamus Gacquin (no relation) on March 23, 2007.

The court heard he had threatened to rape his wife and that he had left a hangman's noose on their back door.

He also admitted setting fire to two hay sheds, the property of Seamus Gacquin, from Lismamucklagh, Dysart, Ballinasloe Co Roscommon, on separate dates in 2004 and 2005.

Roscommon Circuit Court heard a statement by Seamus Gacquin, whose family inherited land from brothers James and Thomas Gately. He said that because of the behaviour of the accused, his elderly parents had been in fear for the safety of their children, their grandchildren and their property.

The court heard that Denis Gacquin (57), a bachelor, who was a relation of the Gately brothers, was aggrieved because while they had left him 26 acres of land, they had left more to Seamus Gacquin's family .

Leonie Reynolds, counsel for the accused, submitted that his initial angst was because he did not get what he felt he was entitled to. Counsel said the defendant wished to give an assurance that he would not cause further trouble. Judge Anthony Kennedy said that after giving assurances before, the accused had threatened to kill the injured party and had also made the "disgusting threat" that he would rape a pregnant woman.

He sentenced the accused to four years in prison, with two years suspended, for setting fire to a hay shed and its contents causing €27,000 worth of damage in October 2005.

A concurrent two-year sentence was imposed for an arson attack which destroyed a hay shed, two trailers and 300 bales of hay. A one-year concurrent sentence was imposed for threatening to kill Seamus Gacquin.

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