A 29-year-old man charged in connection with a 'barbaric' attack on three pensioners at their isolated home has avoided a prison sentence.
Father-of-four William Gammell, of An Cuirt, Monard, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to a charge of aggravated burglary at the rural home of the Creed family at Ballyluddy, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick, on the evening of May 31, 2012.
He is the only person ever to be charged in relation to the incident, though gardai do have two other suspects and the investigation remains open.
William Creed (74), Chrissie Creed (72) and Nora Creed (66) were assaulted, tied up and locked in a room by two men who entered their home at around 10pm.
Previously, Limerick Circuit Court was told the three siblings "live a very primitive lifestyle" and were "subjected to extraordinary violence".
Detective Garda Michael Reidy said William Gammell collected two other men in the Cappawhite area of Tipperary and dropped the raiders off in the vicinity of the Creed family home before the incident and collected them nearby afterwards.
The men, who were described in court as Mr X and Mr Y, were armed with a knife and a screwdriver.
Gammell was arrested at his home on June 6, 2012, after investigating gardai received confidential information about his involvement.
He made full admissions in relation to his involvement, telling gardai he did not know the full intentions of the gang members, the court heard.
Before imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran accepted that without Gammell's admission there would have been no case against him.
He also took into account his previous good record, guilty plea, and evidence that he was threatened by others for agreeing to co-operate with the garda investigation.
Judge Moran imposed a five-year sentence which he suspended for five years.