A YOUNG man who threatened to “smash up” a fast food restaurant if the owner did not give him €700 was sentenced to a total of four years imprisonment.
Previously, Brian Curtin, aged 21, of Spitland, Old Cork Road, Limerick pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces at Stuffins, Mulgrave Street on December 27, 2011.
During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told the defendant entered the premises shortly before midday and became very aggressive when the owner refused to give him any money.
Det Garda Vincent Brick said Curtin, who has almost 200 previous convictions, repeatedly tried to jump the counter and at one point could be heard on the phone telling an acquaintance to “bring around baseball bats and hurleys”.
The owner of the store was said to have been extremely traumatised during the incident, which lasted for 22 minutes and was caught on CCTV.
Curtin also pleaded guilty to offences relating to two separate violent incidents in the city.
He admitted robbing a mobile phone and cash from a man as he was walking near the entrance to Seven Oaks, Bengal Terrace on December 31, 2011.
On that occasion Curtin, who is a chronic heroin addict, held a knife to the injured party’s throat while another man searched his pockets and took the phone.
The defendant, who is currently serving a sentence for unrelated road traffic matters, also admitted his role in an aggravated burglary at an apartment at the Gables, Ballysimon in the early hours of September 2, 2011.
Outlining the facts relating to that offence, Det Garda Paul Crowley said Curtin was one of three men who forced their way into the apartment and threatened the occupants with a knife before fleeing with a quantity of cash and a mobile phone.
Det Garda Crowley said the defendant had displayed “severe violence” during the incident which happened at around 2.20am.
After forcing their way in to the apartment, Curtin, the court heard, “punched and kicked” a woman in the face as he threatened her with a flick knife.
Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said Curtin was a recidivist who has an “appalling record”.
The judge noted that the offence at Stuffins had happened while Curtin was on bail in relation to the aggravated burglary at the Gables.
He said all three offences were serious and warranted custodial sentences. The judge imposed prison sentences totalling six years, suspending the final two.
A number of distict court appeals in relation to separate matters were dismissed.