Limerick man faces trial over alleged threats to kill at Thai massage parlour

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Evan O’Keefe faces a number of charges relating to an incident at Leela Thai Massage, Cecil Street

Evan O’Keefe faces a number of charges relating to an incident at Leela Thai Massage, Cecil Street

A LIMERICK man who allegedly threatened to kill a woman who works at a Thai massage parlour in the city is to be prosecuted on indictment at the circuit court.

Evan O’Keefe, aged 20, of Castle Park, Moyross is charged with attempted robbery relating to an incident at Leela Thai Massage, Cecil Street on October 9, last.

It is alleged by the State he entered the premises at around 1pm and threatened a female worker with a stick before demanding money from the till.

Having initially left the premises it is alleged the defendant returned again a short time later.

O’Keefe is also charged under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act with “intimidating or putting in fear” the alleged injured party with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

The defendant was charged a number of days after the incident and a file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the matter.

During a review of the case, Sergeant Donal Cronin told Limerick District Court directions had been received and he confirmed the matter is to proceed on indictment before Limerick Circuit Court. He requested an adjournment of the case to facilitate the preparation of a book of evidence.

Opposing a bail application last last year, Detective Garda Barry Manton said it will be alleged that following his arrest the defendant made serious threats against women.

He told Judge Marian O’Leary that during interview he repeatedly told gardai “she’s dead, wait until I get out, she’s f*****”.

The detective said gardai are treating the threats very seriously and have “grave concerns” about the potential behaviour of the defendant were he to be released on bail.

Solicitor John Herbert said his client denies the allegations and he submitted the concerns of gardai could be allayed with the imposition of strict bail conditions.

He said O’Keefe was willing to live with a relative who has an address in County Kildare and that he would abide by any and all bail conditions.

Mr Herbert pointed out that given the current length of the circuit court lists, it is likely to be “at least 12 months” before a trial date is set.

“He acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations but he enjoys the presumption of innocence,” he said.

Having considered the matter, Judge O’Leary refused bail and the defendant has been in custody since.

He is due before Limerick District Court again next week and the matter is likely to come before the circuit court for the first time sometime next month.

If convicted of the attempted robbery offence, Mr O’Keefe faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.