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Man who threatened motorist with axe gets suspended sentence

AN UNEMPLOYED man, who "lost his head" as a result of anti-social behaviour and threatened to murder a motorist with a fireman's axe, has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

Karl O'Brien (43) pleaded guilty today to producing the axe during the course of a dispute, on May 18 last.

Garda Kevin Bambrick told Judge Catherine Murphy at Dublin District Court that O'Brien was carrying an axe when he walked over to a young man who was getting into his car at St Ignatius Road.

Gda Bambrick said O'Brien approached the driver's side window and told the man that he “was going to murder him and he did not care if he was going to go to jail”. O'Brien went to smash the car's window but did not and he then pointed out where he lived to the young man before he walked away.

Judge Murphy heard that O'Brien had 38 prior criminal convictions including burglary, motoring and drugs offences.

Defence solicitor Declan Fahy told Judge Murphy that O'Brien had “lost his head” because a number of young men had been involved in anti-social behaviour and were making a lot of noise in the area. Gda Bambrick agreed but added that O'Brien was mistaken in relation to the young man in the car.

The axe was a memento given to him by his father who had been a fireman. Mr Fahy said O'Brien previously had a drug addiction, was apologetic and until this incident had no history of violence. He also asked the court to note that O'Brien, of St Ignatius Road, Dublin 7, has not been involved in further incidents.

Judge Murphy said the incident was terrifying however, she suspended the sentence. She warned O'Brien that it would be activated if he re-offends within the next 18 months.