A MAN who repeatedly struck another man with a hammer during a home invasion last year has been jailed for six years.
Evan O’Keefe, 23, of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty, Limerick had pleaded guilty to multiple charges relating to the offence which occurred in the Mulgrave Street area of the city on March 7, 2020.
During a sentencing hearing before Christmas, Garda Enda Clifford said the alarm was raised at around 4am when the victim was woken by an intruder in his bedroom.
After he challenged the burglar, a second male entered the room and the occupant was punched and struck “at least four times” with a hammer.
The homeowner sustained six lacerations to his scalp and head and required ten staples.
In a victim impact statement, the now 38-year-old said he had never seen such “savagery, brutality, and inhumanity from another human being” as he did on the night and that he initially feared he had sustained a brain injury.
Garda Clifford said after fleeing the house the intruders broke into another home a short distance away.
Sometime later on the same day the defendant threatened, and robbed a mobile phone from a young man who was eating his lunch at a fast food restaurant in the city centre.
The court heard Mr O’Keefe was on bail at the time as he had been charged with robbing a wallet from a 15-year-old boy at Davis Street in the city centre on September 24, 2019.
Barrister Yvonne Quinn said her client made “full, frank and valuable” admissions and that he has expressed his remorse.
She said he had a “very significant addiction” and that he was spending around €200 a day on drugs around the time of the offences.
Ms Quinn said the defendant is now drug free and that he has developed an insight into his drug use and behaviour.
Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell said what happened was extremely serious and he said it was an aggravating factor that some of the offences occurred while Mr O’Keefe was on bail.
He added that the use of a weapon was of serious concern.
He imposed a number of consecutive prison sentences totalling six years’ imprisonment.