Cork man sent apology card and flowers after threatening to kill neighbours

The man produced a 10in serrated knife after arriving at the front door of his neighbours
Cork man sent apology card and flowers after threatening to kill neighbours

Judge accepted the accused was a vulnerable person who needed support in the community, in particular from the mental health services and imposed a prison sentence of three years with half of that sentence suspended. Picture: Larry Cummins 

A 30-year-old man threatened to kill his neighbours while armed with a knife and lunging at them at their front door — but he later apologised and sent them a card and flowers.

The threat to kill the neighbours was made as he produced a 10in serrated knife.

Garda Eve Collins described the incident at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

“He lived next door. He banged forcefully at their door. Lunging towards his neighbour, he pointed a knife at his neck, saying, ‘I am going to kill you’.

“The father of the young man being threatened stood between his son and James Spillane to protect him. And the defendant said, ‘I am still going to kill him.’ He repeatedly made this threat,” Garda Collins said.

Gardaí were initially so concerned about his mental health that they took him to Sarsfield Court for psychiatric attention.

He was subsequently arrested. He was refused bail at Fermoy District Court but he secured bail on conditions at the High Court. However, he breached those conditions and was remanded in custody on the charges from October 2021.

The accused initially admitted only that he was present at his neighbours’ house and had a knife but denied making the death threats. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Judge Boyle accepted the accused was a vulnerable person who needed support in the community, in particular from the mental health services.

The judge imposed a prison sentence of three years with half of that sentence suspended.

The accused spent seven months on remand in prison so this is to be taken into consideration in relation to the 18 months imposed on him at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The young man who faced the death threat did not produce a victim impact statement. His father said he was anxious after the incident, and particularly so about meeting the defendant in the area.

The incident occurred at Uplands, Fermoy, on July 26, 2021.

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