Threatened to shoot Louth County Council employee

An Iranian who threatened to shoot and chop off the head of a member of Louth County Council’s homeless squad was given a two-year suspended sentence last week by the Circuit Court of Louth Dundalk, who sat in Drogheda.

Hojatullah Surkahrezi (50) with an address at Greenhills Industrial Estate, Drogheda pleaded guilty to harassing the official on September 12-13, 2019.

Last Tuesday’s sentencing hearing heard that the victim was working at the council offices in Fair Street, Drogheda on September 12, 2019, when the defendant arrived with his elderly mother and told the official that he lived where he worked and wanted her to be moved to Drogheda from emergency accommodation in a hotel in Dundalk, to save him from having to travel to see her.

The housing officer told her that if there was room available in Drogheda they would transfer her, but he told Gardai that the accused “completely lost it” when the victim told him that he was not responsible for his mother.

He said the mechanic made hand gestures pretending to shoot him and said “You don’t know who you’re dealing with” and threatened to cut off his head.

He slammed the door as he left with his mother, took the door off the hinges and called the accused a few minutes later.

Numerous text messages followed that evening with messages claiming that he knew where the official lived and that he had sold him to the mafia in Eastern Europe.

The victim, who has since retired, was off work for several weeks and was then based in an office instead of traveling between Dundalk and Drogheda.

After his arrest, the defendant, who had previously received a nine-month suspended sentence for assault causing damage, denied making any gun gestures or threatening remarks .

The court heard he wrote a letter of apology while the defense lawyer said ‘the red haze had descended’ for his client, who was motivated by the difficulties his mother was facing, not knowing English and being isolated in a hotel room.

He added that his client had lived in Ireland since 2006 and suffered from depression and PTSD after witnessing “extreme atrocities” in tank battles during the Iran/Iraq war.

Judge Patrick Quinn handed down a two-year suspended sentence on the condition that he have no contact with the victim or any of his family members and stay away from the housing section of the county council of Louth.

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