Man was woken by rampaging serial offender wielding axe

After being awoken in the middle of the night, a terrified homeowner was confronted by a man wielding an axe, a court heard.

Detective Garda Pat Whelan told Limerick Circuit Court yesterday that serial offender Nigel Sheehan had gone on a rampage on April 17 last year in the Ballinacurra area of Limerick.

The 35-year-old had forced his way through the front door of one house and grabbed an axe he found inside.

The owner of the house, on being awoken, came upon Sheehan, who was standing at the bottom of the stairs, holding an axe, and shouting: “I’m not finished with you yet.”

The owner of the house did not know Sheehan, who had woken up other residents of the area earlier after ringing doorbells and shouting.

A number of car mirrors were also broken in the area that night.

Sheehan, originally from Moyross and with an address in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was staying in the Raheen area at the time.

After gardaí were alerted, a patrol car intercepted Sheehan on the Dooradoyle flyover, with goods he had stolen from the house where he had produced the axe.

Sheehan had 112 previous convictions, 12 of which were for burglary.

A probation service report said intervention by them was unlikely to achieve any change, given his history.

Jailing Sheehan for three years for burglary and for producing the axe, Judge Carroll Moran said the probation service report indicated a pretty hopeless situation, as Sheehan was not prepared to deal with a serious drink problem.

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