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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C

Man who threatened to kill neighbours while on the run from prison jailed for four years

The 21-year-old had absconded from a Wicklow prison when he carried out the offence.

A YOUNG FATHER of one who threatened to kill his neighbours while on the run from Shelton Abbey Prison in Wicklow has been jailed for four years. 

Luke Taylor of Cherry Lawn, Blackrock in Co Cork, had absconded from prison where he was serving a conviction of endangerment when he carried out the offence. 

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Taylor has 91 previous convictions. 42 of his convictions relate to crimes which were carried out while on bail. 

Det Garda Paul Radley said that a woman and her partner and children were at home in Blackrock in Cork at 9.40pm on 10 November 2018 when they heard shouting from the street.

They noticed that a wing mirror of their car had been broken.

Det Garda Radley said the woman went outside to investigate. Taylor produced a knife and threatened to take her eye out.

He started kicking the car and demanding that her partner come out. 

The man emerged from the house and Taylor went at him with a knife. He managed to slam the door shut on the face of the 21-year-old. Taylor broke the panel in the door. 

The alarm was raised but Taylor had fled the scene before gardaí arrived. Taylor was arrested and questioned but no explanation was ever given for his behaviour. 

In a victim impact report which was read in to the court, the woman spoke of being a “nervous wreck” and having a lack of confidence since the incident. 

Her children don’t like to answer the front door and she said the case had left a huge emotional toll on the family.

Taylor previously pleaded guilty to five charges arising out the incident.

The first two charges state that he threatened a man and a woman causing them to believe that he would kill or cause them serious harm.

Taylor was charged with producing a knife during the making of these alleged threats.

The last two charges accuse him of causing €250 worth of criminal damage to the front door at the woman’s house and €870 damage to the man’s car.

Dermot Sheehan, barrister, made an appeal for leniency in the case saying that his client was “immature”. 

Judge Brian O’Callaghan said that he was of the view that possessing of a knife was the same as “possession of a loaded gun”. 

He said that he found it disquieting that no attempt at explanation was ever made. He stated that Taylor was fortunate not to be in a higher court given that only the closing of a door prevented the man from coming to serious harm. 

He added that we should be able to rely on our neighbours for support and questioned what could have been going on in the head of the defendant that he caused such horror to a neighbour. 

“What possessed you to do this to a neighbour? This [Taylor] is a man who was fleeing from custody. It is absolutely appalling,” Judge Brian O’Callaghan said. 

He jailed Taylor for four years. Taylor is already in custody serving the remainder of his previous sentence. 

Olivia Kelleher
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