Cork farmer's family rescued by armed gardaí after he terrorised them with axe

When gardaí arrived in response to the call for assistance, the accused man shouted: 'Get off my f***ing property or I will kill you. Come here and I will finish this', court heard
Cork farmer's family rescued by armed gardaí after he terrorised them with axe

The incident that gave rise to the case occurred on February 12, when the defendant’s sister and parents had to lock themselves in a room to avoid him after he picked up 2ft-long axe, court told. Picture: Larry Cummins

A Co Cork farmer terrorised his own family with a long axe and they had to lock themselves into a bedroom until they were rescued by the Garda Armed Support Unit.

Now the accused man has been sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment, with the final year suspended, by Judge Helen Boyle at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

There had been a safety order in place arising out of previous concerns of domestic violence and the parties are not identified because of this.

The incident that gave rise to the case occurred on February 12, when the defendant’s sister and parents had to lock themselves in a room to avoid him after he picked up 2ft-long axe.

When gardaí arrived in response to the call for assistance, the accused man shouted: “Get off my f***ing property or I will kill you. Come here and I will finish this.” 

The Armed Support Unit secured the family members who were hiding out and got them out of the house to safety.

At the height of the incident, the accused swiped a knife in the direction of his sister and damaged his parents’ house. He had consumed a large amount of alcohol and prescription medication.

Victims still in fear of accused

The investigating garda said the victims were afraid to make victim impact statements and are still in fear of the accused.

“You have anger issues when drunk. It is an understatement that alcohol does not suit you. Unless you address this, you will continue to come before the courts,” Judge Boyle said.

The judge noted from background reports that the accused was fine when sober and that his parents would accept him back in the house if he addressed his difficulties.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said the accused was 35 years' old before he got into any difficulties in 2017 but that since then his life had been blighted by alcohol.

Judge Boyle said to the accused: “There is some minimisation of what you did, particularly on the impact on your family. Insight is minimal. You don’t take personal responsibility when drunk. It would appear you have a long way to go to see the impact of your actions on your family.

“You are now in custody due to your actions. You allowed alcohol to get the better of you. You won’t live a long life if you continue to drink the way you are going. You are found to be a high-risk category for reoffending.”

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