Thug who terrified family with machete is jailed
A COUPLE and their young family were terrified when a thug tried to hack through a bedroom door at their house and threatened to kill a baby with a three-foot long machete.
Andrew Halligan (30), of Ardmore Park, Ballybeg in Waterford city, was jailed for seven years for an aggravated burglary at a home in Meadowbank, Baile Na Deise.
The father of four had previously been jailed for seven years in 2006 for trespassing with intent to commit burglary at Carrigvantry in Tramore in an incident where popular local horsebreeder Dick Forristal (68) was murdered in 2005.
Halligan's accomplice, Anthony Barnes, then aged 20, was jailed for life for Mr Forristal's murder in 2006. In the latest incident, the court heard that the family members were so scarred by the ordeal that they have not slept one single night in the house since.
Romanian national Daniel Ienciu (35), his partner Violetta (30), daughter Diana (15) and baby Lara had to barricade themselves into a bedroom during the terrifying ordeal.
Halligan was hacking and kicking at the door, demanding jewellery and laptops, the court heard. He said he would "kill Violetta" along with the baby, the court heard.
Halligan, who has 34 previous convictions for theft, robbery, the misuse of drugs and weapon offences, also struck out at gardai who attempted to apprehend him.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at the Circuit Court in Waterford yesterday.
Halligan appeared on one charge of aggravated burglary, along with four counts of the production of the machete and one count of criminal damage to an internal door at Meadowbank on August 12 last.
He received eight years for the aggravated burglary, with one year suspended, along with four concurrent sentences of three years each for the production of the weapon.
The criminal damage count was taken into consideration.
After sentencing yesterday, Violetta Iencui said: "We are glad, the sentence is okay. The judge, she knows."
Judge Pauline Codd said that the family should be commended on their bravery, adding that Diana, in particular, showed "tremendous courage on that night".