Limerick man who threatened to kill worker told gardai he ‘should have beaten her brains in’

David Hurley


David Hurley

The incident happened at Leela Thai Massage on October 9, 2017

The incident happened at Leela Thai Massage on October 9, 2017

A MAN who told gardai he would kill a woman who works at a Thai massage parlour in Limerick has been jailed for two years.

Evan O’Keefe, aged 21, of Castle Park, Moyross, made the threats while being interviewed by gardai about an attempted robbery at Leela Thai Massage, Cecil Street, on October 9, 2017.

Limerick Circuit Court was told 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 he returned again a short time later and attempted to throw a street sign  at the woman.

Detective Garda Rob Sheehy said an off-duty garda saw the defendant “leaving at speed” and that he was identified as a suspect after the woman, who is aged in her mid-50s, made a statement of complaint.

CCTV was also obtained and a stick was recovered from the premises by investigating gardai.

O’Keefe, who was before the courts at the time in relation to a theft offence relating to the same premises, also admitted “intimidating or putting in fear” the injured party with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

Detective Garda Rob Sheehy said following his arrest two days after the attempted robbery the defendant made serious threats against women.

He told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that during interview he repeatedly told gardai “she’s dead, wait until I get out, she’s f***** when I get her”.

O’Keefe also told gardai he was “not worried” about the allegations against him and that the woman was “lucky I didn’t beat her brains in with the stick”.

The detective said the threats, which were recorded on camera, very taken seriously and that gardai were concerned about the potential behaviour of the defendant.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant was on bail at the time and that a condition of his bail was that he stay away from the massage parlour. He also verbally abused the woman near the premises the previous night.

The woman who told gardai she was terrified chose not to prepare a victim impact statement for the court.

Mark Nicholas SC said his client is a “somewhat volatile individual” and that he accepts his behaviour was disgraceful.

He said O’Keefe, who was refused bail when he first appeared in court last year, had been leading a chaotic lifestyle and he submitted there was a “bit of bravado and cheek” when he was being interviewed by gardai and that there was nothing to suggest he would have carried out the threats.

He said his client accepts what happened was nasty and he told the court he hopes to work with horses following his release from prison as “he has a skill”.

Judge Tom O’Donnell imposed a three-year prison sentence, suspending the final 12 months.