Wednesday 21 March 2018

Grandfather who came after sister-in-law with samurai sword and knife avoids jail

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Isabel Hayes

A grandfather who came after his sister-in-law with a samurai sword and a kitchen knife has been given a three year suspended sentence.

James Cash (59) was under the influence of alcohol and tablets when he knocked on Pamela Creighton's granny flat in Blanchardstown, Dublin last year and tried to attack her with a sword and knife.

After a struggle her husband, Bernard Creighton, wrested the weapons out of Cash's hands.

Cash, with an address at Sheephill Ave, Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of producing a weapon at Corduff Ave, Blanchardstown on November 30, 2015.

Defence counsel Mark Lynam BL said Cash suffered from a number of health issues, including severe heart disease, and had undergone a number of surgeries.

“Further surgery may require amputation as he has no circulation in his legs,” he said.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that one of the victims, Bernard Creighton, had indicated a preference that Cash not be sent to prison. She said the offence had occurred in the context of inter-familial tension and Cash being in a state of “considerable intoxication.”

She noted matters between the parties had since “settled down” and Cash had stayed out of trouble. She imposed a three year sentence which she suspended in full on condition he engage with the Probation Service and continue to abstain from alcohol.

Sergeant Louise Guerin told prosecuting counsel, Lisa Dempsey BL, that Ms Creighton and her husband were preparing to go to bed in their granny flat at the rear of their daughter's home around 1am when they heard a knock on the door.

Ms Creighton assumed it was her daughter and opened the door, to find her brother-in-law, James Cash, standing outside with a sword and a knife in his hand. A struggle ensued, with Ms Creighton's husband, Bernard Creighton, wresting the weapons out of Cash's hands. He then chased Cash into the garden and gardaí were called.

Cash has 17 previous convictions, 15 of which occurred between 1979 and 1986. They include theft, burglary, drink-driving and criminal damage offences.

Defence counsel said Cash, who has three children and eight grandchildren, was separated from his wife at the time of the offence and was abusing alcohol and tablets. “He was in an agitated state and the whole thing was a bit of a blur,” Mr Lynam said.

Cash has since reconciled with his wife and has “cleaned up his act” with regards to alcohol, the court heard. He was remorseful for his actions that night.

“We have someone who is in a very vulnerable state, who is in very poor health,” Mr Lynam said.

He added that Cash, who was wearing an open-necked shirt, wished to apologise to the judge for not wearing a tie, as he was unable to wear one due to respiratory issues.

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