Tunisian threatened to cut off head of ex-partner’s friend

A jealous rage saw a man threaten to cut off the head of his ex-partner’s male friend, as he held a knife in one hand and used his phone to make a video recording with the other hand.

Det Garda Richard White told Cork Circuit Criminal Court the main evidence against the accused man was contained on the video recording.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a total sentence of one year’s jail on Mehdi Achouri, a Tunisian national working at an advanced level in industrial robotics. He had an address at Hollyhill, Cork. Two years of a three-year sentence were suspended.

Defence barrister Ray Boland said jealousy was at the heart of the crime. Achouri’s relationship had ended with Sonia Marshall, but her friend, a former boyfriend James O’Toole, was visiting from Canada and Achouri went into a jealous rage. He trespassed at the house and threatened to kill them.

Det Garda White said that at 7am on September 24 last year he took a knife from the kitchen and went upstairs. He took out his mobile phone and began recording. He began shouting and roaring threatening the pair. In relation to Mr O’Toole, Achouri threatened to cut off his head.

Ms Marshall managed to calm him down, but Achouri struck her in the face causing her to fall. She managed to get him to the front door and the gardaí were called.

“It was quite a horrific event,” said Det Garda White.

Mr Boland said the assault on Ms Marshall was a slap to her face. The knife was never used.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was fortunate she responded in such a manner as to calm the situation.

The defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Marshall, trespassing, and threatening to kill Mr O’Toole.

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