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Family fled their home 'in fear' after man broke in with butcher's knife, court told

The man brandished a knife at a 14-year-old girl who was sleeping, a court in Limerick was told.

Image: Shutterstock/gmstockstudio

A FAMILY HAS fled their home in Limerick “in fear” for their lives after a man, armed with a butcher’s knife, broke into their house last Sunday morning and stabbed a man, a court has heard.

Liam Keane appeared before Limerick District Court this morning, where he was refused bail.

The 31-year-old, of Singland Gardens, Ballysimon, was charged with one count of assault causing harm and one count of burglary at a house in Limerick at around 7am on May 29th last.

The family at the centre of the alleged incident fled from their home in fear of Mr Keane, the court heard.

During a contested bail hearing Garda Orlaith Ryan of Henry Street garda station, alleged:

Mr Keane forced his way into the house in the early hours of May 29th, in possession of a large butcher’s knife which he used to threaten the occupants.

“He made his way to an upstairs bedroom at the rear of the house brandishing the knife,” she alleged.

He pulled back bedclothes where a 14-year old girl was sleeping and he put her in fear.

‘Extreme fear’ 

Garda Ryan alleged Mr Keane then moved to a second bedroom where he “threatened” a man and his pregnant partner with the knife, “putting them in both in extreme fear”.

It’s alleged Mr Keane stabbed the man on his arm.

Garda Ryan said “a number of witnesses will allege” they saw Liam Keane at the scene on the morning in question.

Garda Ryan said “swabs” had been taken from Mr Keane and from the house for DNA analysis.

She told the court it was her belief that if granted bail Mr Keane would “commit further serious offences”.

“This is a volatile individual,” Garda Ryan alleged.

“If he does get bail, he has access to firearms, and the injured parties may be at risk,” she further alleged.

Gardaí said they believed the alleged offences arose following the “tragic death” of a man in Limerick around 6.30am on the same morning.

Garda Ryan said the family who have left their home “are in temporary accommodation”.

“Their location, including the 14-year old girl, is known only by gardaí,” she said.

“They wish to keep their whereabouts secret as they are in fear, and the gardaí concur with that,” prosecuting Garda Sergeant Donal Cronin told the court.

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“Arrangements have been put in place for their security,” Sergeant Cronin added.

Maintaining his innocence 

The court was told the girl is due to sit her Junior Certificate next Wednesday.

“She is in extreme fear since,” Garda Ryan said.

Mr Keane’s solicitor told the court that he has “maintained his innocence”.

Strenuously opposing bail, Sergeant Donal Cronin said:

We are ultra concerned (Mr Keane) will commit further serious offences in relation to this investigation.

Judge Marian O’Leary refused bail and remanded Mr Keane in custody to appear in court via video link on June 21st for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Comments have been disabled as the matter is before the courts. 

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David Raleigh

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