A MEMBER of the travelling community who threatened gardai with a chisel after he was caught “red handed” committing a burglary was sentenced to two and half years imprisonment.
Michael McCarthy, aged 26, of Kilmurray View Halting Site pleaded guilty to charges relating to two separate break-ins in Castletroy.
Previously, Limerick Circuit Court was told gardai who were alerted to one of the burglaries were forced to produce their firearms after they were confronted by Mr McCarthy and his cousin, John McCarthy.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Brendan Stokes said when gardai arrived at the “student house” - located at the Cedars, Briarfield - in the early hours of April 28, 2013 they observed a broken window and a number of males inside.
Mr Justice Carroll Moran was told the burglars confronted gardai and that when they continued to be aggressive one of the gardai produced his firearm shouting “armed gardai”.
However the men then fled to the utility room and violently resisted arrest once gardai got inside.
Nothing was taken from the house at the Cedars but two laptops were stolen from a house at Willow Close, which was broken into a short time earlier.
Brian McInerney BL said his client, who is addicted to tablets and cannabis, had carried out the burglaries as he was under pressure to repay monies he owed to “some dangerous people”.
Imposing sentence, Mr Justice Moran noted the defendant and his cousin had been caught “red handed” in one of the houses and had made admissions in relation to the other break-in.
He said it was an aggravating factor that there had been “an element of pre-planning” to the burglaries, which, he noted, were carried out during a weekend when “it was anticipated that the students would not be at home”.
The judge imposed a four year prison sentence, suspending the final 18 months for four years.