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Family living in fear of son (43) in knife threats

THE family of a man with a "psychiatric history" have told a court they fear for their lives because they are unable to get him the help he needs from the health services.

Thomas McKeever (43) had threatened to pull a knife on his mother at the family home, where his relatives were living in fear, it was alleged.

His brother and sister said repeated attempts to get him help had failed, culminating in his arrest when he locked himself out in the back garden to avoid being taken away by an ambulance.

They made the allegations as gardai objected to the accused being granted bail on separate public order charges.



Warrant

Judge Aeneas McCarthy refused to grant bail after Dublin District Court heard a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest, and he had no address to give gardai because he was no longer welcome at home.

The accused, of St Mark's Drive, Clondalkin, is charged with public drunkenness and breach of the peace in an incident on June 10.

The court heard his family called an ambulance because they felt "under significant threat" from him earlier this week. The Dublin Fire Brigade personnel were unable to control him and the gardai were called.

His brother Jimmy McKeever said the accused "threatened everyone in the house" and was not taking his medication.

He himself had to move back into the family home because he did not want to leave the accused alone with his parents.

The witness said the defendant had threatened "to stick knives in us" and that it was "frightening".

"The family are in total fear, my parents are old age pensioners, my mother has had a nervous breakdown and my father is on the verge of having a heart attack", the accused's sister, Catherine said.



Safety

"He is mentally torturing the family because of his illness, because he is sick. I fear for our lives if he gets out on bail today. I don't know what would happen. We have tried every avenue to try and get help. Please, please help us to get proper help for our own safety and wellbeing as well as Thomas's".

Cahir O'Higgin, defending, said the evidence was prejudicial to his client and that there was no evidence that the accused was a flight risk or would not attend court.

The defendant was remanded in custody for a week, to appear in Cloverhill District Court. The judge directed psychiatric assessment and immediate medical attention.

aphelan@herald.ie


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