A Limerick man, who a court heard has shown a “propensity for violence”, has been jailed after admitting breaking into a “vulnerable” man’s flat and threatening to kill him if he didn’t hand over his mobile phone.
Patrick Wynne, 24, with an address at McGarry House, Alphonse’s Street, appeared before Limerick Circuit Court on signed guilty pleas to one count of burglary and one count of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to the victim, on May 9, 2019.
The victim, who was a tenant in Focus Ireland sheltered accommodation at Parnell Place, was in his flat around 4.30pm on the day in question when “suddenly his door was kicked in” by Wynne, who was armed with a knife.
Wynne “had a blade, a weapon, and was accompanied by a male and two females”, presiding judge Tom O’Donnell said.
He said Wynne believed the victim had photographs relating to another incident on his mobile phone.
While inside the man’s flat, Wynne telephoned a man serving a jail sentence in a prison and asked him “do you want me to stab him?”.
Security footage from CCTV cameras located outside the victim’s flat “captured the accused breaking down his door and acting in an aggressive manner”.
The victim declined to make a statement on the impact the incident had had on him.
Wynn admitted to the charges early in the case.
Judge O’Donnell said Wynne had been released from prison “a short time” when he robbed and threatened the man in his flat last year.
Wynne was jailed in October 2018 for two-and-a-half years, with the final 12 months suspended, for charges of violent disorder and assault causing harm.
He also has convictions for “production of a weapon and public order”.
Thee judge said it was “quite clear” Wynne intended to “put the victim in fear” by kicking in his door.
“It was a very frightening experience for the victim who is of a vulnerable disposition. A weapon was produced, and the threats made were designed to maximise fear, and there were others present.”
“From his previous convictions it appears the accused has a propensity towards violence”, the judge continued.
A psychiatric report noted Wynne had “difficult family dynamics” and battles addictions with drugs and alcohol.
Judge O’Donnell jailed Wynne for four years and six months, suspending the final 18 months, and backdating the sentence to May 14 this year when Wynne was placed into custody without bail.
Wynne, who thanked the judge, was also ordered to engage with the Probation Service for a period of 18-months after his release.