Jail for man who threatened victim with Stanley knife over €20 debt

A man who kicked in a glass panel of a friend's flat door and threatened the victim with a Stanley knife because he owed him €20 has been jailed for two years.
Jail for man who threatened victim with Stanley knife over €20 debt
Stock image. Picture: iStock
Stock image. Picture: iStock

A man who kicked in a glass panel of a friend's flat door and threatened the victim with a Stanley knife because he owed him €20 has been jailed for two years.

David Johnston (38) of Golden Lane, Bride Street, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary on Cooke Street on November 14, 2019. He has 28 previous convictions.

Garda Barry Mulvey told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting that the victim was watching television with his girlfriend when they heard banging and kicking at their front door. The woman heard someone shout “It's your funeral” before the man went out to the hallway to see what was happening.

He saw Johnston through the glass panel of the door and told him to get away. When Johnston refused, he called “999”.

Gda Mulvey said Johnston managed to kick in the glass panel of the doorway and climb into the flat but the couple had at that point barricaded themselves into the sitting room by blocking the door with a couch.

Johnston forced his way in by shouldering the door before he headed straight for the man and demanded money off him. He held a Stanley knife to the victim's neck and threatened to cut his throat.

Gda Mulvey said the victim got a small cut to his throat which didn't require medical attention. He confirmed that Johnston had loaned the man €80 the previous month and there was €20 outstanding.

The man handed Johnston €20 and he left the flat, elbowing in a kitchen window as he was leaving.

Gda Mulvey said Johnston was later arrested and interviewed but made no admissions. He said he was homeless and had a drug addiction.

The victim had not prepared a victim impact statement.

Luigi Rea BL, defending said his client, who has been on remand in prison since his arrest, is an enhanced prisoner in custody.

He suggested to Judge Martin Nolan that if Johnston “keeps himself to himself” and stays on his prescribed medication for depression, “he is unlikely to come before the courts in this way again”.

Judge Nolan said it was “a misguided attempt to recover money” that Johnston felt was owed to him by the victim.

He took into account that Johnston has had long periods of his life during which he has not come to garda attention and accepted he was doing well in prison.

Judge Nolan sentenced Johnston to four years in prison but suspended the final two years on strict conditions.

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