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Jobless man's axe murder threat to driver

AN unemployed man who "lost his head" and threatened to murder a motorist with a fireman's axe has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

Karl O'Brien (43), of St Ignatius Road, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty yesterday 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.

Garda 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.

Garda 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 has not been involved in further incidents.

Judge Murphy said the incident was terrifying. She suspended the sentence and warned O'Brien that it would be activated if he reoffended within the next 18 months.