Man jailed over pipebomb attack on family’s home

A man was yesterday jailed for two and a half years after pleading guilty to possession of a pipebomb that was thrown into a house containing five children.

The bomb, described by the presiding judge as being “designed to cause maximum damage and injury” was thrown through the front window of the house containing two infants and three young children on May 15, 2011.

The device landed on a kitchen table but failed to detonate.

The fuse had scorch marks after another party, not before the court, had attempted to light it.

A 14-year-old boy and girls aged 14, 11, 18 months and 11 months were in the house at Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, when the bomb was hurled through the window.

The bomb contained shotgun cartridge propellant, lead shot, and marbles, which would act as shrapnel.

“The amount of shotgun propellant cartridge could make up to 50 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, which would be dispersed in the event of it exploding,” counsel for the State John O’Sullivan SC previously told Judge Carroll Moran.

“The marbles would act as shrapnel and be scattered far and wide if exploded. It would have caused significant injuries if it had detonated.”

Stephen Mulqueen, aged 20, with an address at Lenihan Avenue, Propsect, Limerick, was sentenced to five years, but the judge suspended the second half of the term.

At Limerick Circuit Court, Judge Carroll Moran said he had to take into account Mulqueen’s early guilty plea.

“Without his admissions, there would have been no case against him,” Judge Moran said.

Gardaí accepted that Mulqueen was not involved in the assembly of the bomb, although the defendant was aware the bomb was to be thrown at the house, the court heard.

Mulqueen had not thrown the bomb but was a passenger in a car that brought the bomber to and from the scene, the court was also told.

Mulqueen was also sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting a man in Shannon.

The term is to run consecutive to the pipebomb sentence. He had pleaded guilty to the charge.

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