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Woman subjected to 'two-hour ordeal' after she woke to man over her bed with knife, court hears

James McKenzie has been charged with burglary and criminal damage.

LAST UPDATE | Mar 29th 2020, 5:06 PM

A MAN HAS has been charged with burglary and criminal damage arising out of an incident during which a woman woke in her bed to find a trespasser standing over her brandishing a knife. 

James McKenzie, of Dun Eoin in Carrigaline, Co Cork appeared before a special sitting of Cork District Court this morning.  

The offence occurred at 6am on Saturday when a man entered a property, went to the bedroom of a woman and stood over her with a knife. 

Judge John King was told that the woman, who had children in the house, was subjected to a “two-hour ordeal.”

Detective Garda Mags Ryan said that the woman was held at knifepoint by a man who was known to her.

She claimed that McKenzie (28) was the person responsible for the offence. She gave a description to gardaí of what her assailant was wearing. 

Garda Ryan said that she went to the accused’s home and arrested him at 2.15pm on Saturday. He was taken to Togher Garda Station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.  

Garda Ryan said that she strongly feared for the safety of the woman and her young children if the accused was granted bail in the case.

She said it was her strong belief that the life of the woman and her children would be in danger if McKenzie was granted bail.

“He threatened her in her house. He told her he would kill her and her children.”

The court heard that the accused had allegedly smashed up the kitchen using a vacuum cleaner that was in the house.

Solicitor, Frank Buttimer, representing McKenzie, said that his client hadn’t threatened the alleged victim in any way in relation to court proceedings.

He expressed frustration that the woman wasn’t in court to give evidence.

However, Judge John King said that we were living in a time of “exceptional circumstances.” 

The woman was at home minding her children unable to get a babysitter to go to court.

McKenzie pleaded to be given a chance saying that he would reside with his father and abstain from drink and drugs if bail was granted in the case. 

Judge King said that there were sufficient grounds for a remand in custody. He remanded McKenzie in custody until he appears in court again on Wednesday 1 April.  

The accused will appear in court on that occasion via video link.  

Olivia Kelleher