A recovering drug addict who threatened to kill a woman after breaking into her home has been jailed for three years.
Darragh O'Sullivan (29) was armed with a knife when he kicked in the door of the family home and began shouting for a named man who was the former partner of the homeowner.
He said he was going to kill this man, who the court heard had previously assaulted a relative of O'Sullivan after breaking into his house.
O'Sullivan told the woman living there that he was going to slice this man and then threatened the woman that she would “get a bullet”.
Detective Garda Darragh Phelan from Shankill Garda Station told the court that there were five children present in the home during the attack and two of these gave evidence during the trial.
The man's face was covered but the mask slipped and the woman recognised him and was able to identify O'Sullivan to gardai after the attack ended.
O'Sullivan of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, Co Dublin had pleaded not guilty to the offences of aggravated burglary and a threat to kill or cause serious harm which took place at a location in Ballybrack on April 3rd, 2016. The court heard that he continues to deny he was the man who carried out the attack.
His barrister Maurice Coffey SC told the court that after this offence O'Sullivan went to the UK where he tried to “start a new life”,
O'Sullivan took the stand to tell Judge Karen O'Connor that he started a job in a factory and settled down and was doing well, but he began “messing” with drugs again and “just messed up”.
Seeking change of life
He said that while in custody he started praying and attending religious services and that helped him get his life back on track. He told Judge O'Connor that he has spent a long time in prison and wants to change his life.
“I'm a different man now. If you give me a chance to change my life, I won't let you down,” he said.
Judge O'Connor today noted O'Sullivan had 43 previous convictions.
She said this had been a violation of the home of the injured party and that she was to be complimented for protecting her children and seeing the matter through. She noted the ongoing impact on the family.
“A home should be a place where a family feels safe and secure, not a place where they experience a terrifying incident like this one,” she said.
Judge O'Connor noted O'Sullivan had a chaotic upbringing, but has used his time in custody in a positive fashion. She noted he wants to change his life and seems to be on a better path.
She also noted it was a difficult time to be in prison and said she would structure a sentence to take into account the seriousness of the offences but also encourage rehabilitation.
She imposed a sentence of four and a half years and suspended the final 18 months for two years on strict conditions.
She backdated the sentence by 179 days, to reflect time already spent in custody.