Two serial burglars who attacked a man at knifepoint after forcing their way into his home have been jailed for four years.
James Wall (21), of Cluain Arra, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, and Eddie Ryan (21), of Church Street, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, were both heard saying: "We have him now, he's by himself," before they broke into an apartment in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick.
Before jailing the men at Limerick Circuit Court, Judge Tom O'Donnell said it must have been a frightening ordeal for the injured party and his girlfriend who managed to escape through a window.
The intruders - who were both armed with knives - forced their way into the apartment after smashing a glass panel in a rear door. They set upon the male occupant, while his girlfriend escaped out a bedroom window and raised the alarm.
The defendants, who both have a large number of previous convictions for burglary and other offences, violently attacked the man.
They fled along an old railway track to the rear of the Templegreen estate.
The court heard that while the victim, who suffered several defensive wounds, did not cooperate with gardaí on the night, he made a statement the following day in which he identified his attackers.
Around €3,000 worth of damage was caused in the apartment during the incident.
Both men pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at Templegreen, Newcastlewest, on June 17, 2014. Before jailing the accused men Judge Tom O'Donnell said it must have been a "frightening experience".
He sentenced both men to five years in prison, but suspended the final 12 months.