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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 22 June 2021

Man held knife to woman’s throat before barricading himself into stranger’s home, court hears

The man barricaded himself into a stranger’s home where he drank the homeowner’s beer during a three-hour standoff with gardaí yesterday, a court was told.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA Images

A MAN HELD a knife to a woman’s throat before barricading himself into a stranger’s home where he drank the homeowner’s beer during a three-hour standoff with gardaí yesterday, a court heard today.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested last night after gardaí initially responded to a report of a domestic violence incident at a location in Co Limerick.

He is charged with breaching a safety order and putting the complainant in fear by holding a knife to her throat, contrary to Section 33 (1) of the Domestic Violence Act 2018; and with two further counts in relation to committing a burglary during the course of a dispute where he produced a kitchen knife in a manner likely to intimidate another person.

The charges allegedly occurred at around 7.30pm yesterday in a rural housing estate.

During a bail application before Limerick District Court, a garda witness gave evidence of receiving a 999 call yesterday from a woman alleging the accused had threatened her and held a knife to her neck.

Another person not named in court attempted to intervene and sustained an injury from a shovel, the garda said.

The accused’s solicitor Sarah Ryan said, following her client’s arrest, the complainant phoned her to say she would not be making a formal written statement against the accused.

The garda witness said the accused fled the scene on foot and was observed entering an occupied house about a mile away, where he “barricaded” himself inside the property along with the occupants.

The garda alleged that the accused was observed in possession of a knife when he entered the house and that he armed himself with a second knife inside the property.

“He informed the occupants he was not going to hurt them but he refused to leave, and a three-hour standoff occurred,” the garda said.

“He was highly intoxicated, aggressive, and a danger to himself and to others. He threatened to injure himself,” the garda said.

The garda said it was her belief that, if the accused was granted bail, he would interfere with witnesses and commit serious offences.

“No conditions of bail would alleviate my fears should be be released,” the garda added.

Bail refused

The solicitor said her client’s instructions were that gardaí were called after a minor dispute at a house, and that the accused “stupidly” ran from the area before gardaí arrived.

The accused, who for the duration of the lengthy hearing wore PPE accessories, including a face mask and gloves, gave evidence in which he admitted entering a house.

“The gardaí were chasing me, I entered the property with no knives. I picked them up in the house,” the accused told the court.

He said after that after entering the property, he told a young male occupant: “Kid, I’m not here to harm you, I’m just running away from the guards.”

“I didn’t mean to frighten him,” the accused added.

He said he ran “through a graveyard, over two back walls, and a fence” before arriving at a housing estate “about a mile away”.

The accused said he would not interfere with any witnesses, adding: “I swear on my daughter’s life I will not touch those people.”

The man claimed that, on the evening in question, he had had a minor scuffle with a third party, not the complainant.

He said he ran away after the gardaí were called because he became “frustrated”. “It was a mistake I made. I was frightened, I apologise for that,” he added.

The man said he drank “two cans of beer” from a fridge in the house he barricaded himself into. He added that he “knocked over a glass” as he ran into the property but “cleaned it up”.

“I respect other people’s properties. I got a towel and mopped it up,” he said.

The accused told the court he “locked all the doors and put the knife to my own throat”.

Summing up their objection to bail, a garda said: “This is a very serious incident which left the injured parties frightened. Gardaí have serious concerns there will be further repercussions if the accused is released”.

Judge Marian O’Leary, presiding, refused bail given the “very frightening and very serious” evidence before the court.

The man was remanded in custody to Limerick Prison to appear before Limerick District Court again for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on 12 May.

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David Raleigh

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