A CONVICTED killer was sentenced to two years imprisonment after he admitted threatening staff at a city centre take-away with a large kitchen knife.
During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told Joseph McCarthy, aged 41, of Jutland Hall, Steamboat Quay entered the Hot Corner takeaway on Henry Street at around 11.40pm on September 12, last.
Garda Barry Manton said McCarthy initially ordered a snack box and that when he was asked had he paid he
He told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that the defendant then produced a large kitchen knife from under his arm and threatened to rob the premises.
Two members of staff managed to prevent McCarthy getting from behind the counter before gardai arrived a short time later - having been alerted by a passer-by.
Garda Manton said the defendant, who was still in the premises, was intoxicated and that gardai had to use incapacitant spray before he could be arrested.
Pat Whyms BL, said his client, who was jailed for seven years in 2005 for manslaughter, had not gone to the premises with the intention of causing trouble. “He went, he ordered food, he sat down and waited and when he was challenged about paying, he over-reacted,” he said adding that the incident had escalated beyond all control and had gone “pear shaped”.
Mr Whyms said his client, who has three young children, was a regular customer at the takeaway, which is located near his home.
He said McCarthy had been drinking at his home earlier in the day and that he had also taken prescription medication.
Mr Whyms accepted that had his client not been carrying a knife, the incident would not have happened.
Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said McCarthy was caught “red handed” and he commented that the incident “had to have been a very frightening experience,” for the two workers at the takeaway.
“People working in these places are entitled to have the protection of the courts,” he said.
The judge commented that a letter submitted by the accused was “very well written” but he stressed that aside from the manslaughter conviction,McCarthy has a “very bad record”.
He imposed a four years prison sentence, suspending the final two years.