Friday 16 November 2018

Convicted murderer held 'shiv' to neck of female barrister and threatened to kill her

Sean Ducque
Sean Ducque

A convicted murderer who held a “shiv” of jagged perspex to his female barrister's throat and threatened to kill her in an attempt to escape custody has been given a eight year sentence.

Sean Ducque (34), who was due to go on trial for murder the following week, had hidden the improvised weapon down his trousers and attempted to use his terrified barrister as leverage to escape from a cell in a courthouse.

“Let me out of the fucking cell now or I am going to kill her,” Ducque told prison officers, adding “I am facing life anyway.”

A violent struggle with three prison officers and two gardai followed before Ducque was restrained.

Ducque, formerly of Cloonlara Crescent, Finglas, Dublin who has 44 previous convictions, was subsequently convicted of murder in July 2017 and is currently serving a life sentence.

Today's sentence is consecutive to a five year term he is currently serving for assault with intent to commit unlawful seizure of a taxi, imposed in May 2016.

Ducque pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim, falsely imprisoning her and making a threat to kill her in a cell at a District Court in Dublin on June 8, 2017.

Ducque also pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting three prison officers causing them harm and attempting to escape from lawful custody on the same occasion.

Judge Melanie Greally said Ducque had subjected the injured party to “an utterly terrifying ordeal” and noted that as well as the physical attack, the “overt threat to kill” had caused huge trauma.

She commended the woman her immense bravery in describing the devastating effects the attack had on her in her victim impact statement. She noted that the two of the prison officers sustained injuries and they all suffered “stress, trauma and anxiety” as a result of the incident.

Judge Greally noted Ducque's convictions and said it was clear he was someone who was capable of extreme violence in many manifestations. She took into account his guilty plea and admissions.

She imposed concurrent sentences totalling eight years to be served consecutive to his current term.

The woman's victim impact statement said it had been her dream to work as a barrister but the incident has had a devastating impact on her personally and professionally.

She said she had never known fear like that day and believed that she could die.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said Ducque had no personal animosity towards his victim and had attempted to use her as leverage to escape. He said Ducque deeply regretted what he did and had asked that an apology be passed onto her.

He said Ducque had deluded himself into thinking he could somehow engineer his escape. He said his client had lived in the inner city as a young man and worked as labourer before he began dabbling in drugs as a 15 year old.

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