A MAN has been jailed for three years and eight months after he was caught “red handed” with cocaine while on bail for holding a butcher’s knife to a woman’s throat and threatening to kill her unless she gave him €20.
Larry Tuohy (30), of Maigue Way, John Carew Park, Limerick City, had 29 convictions, including for possessing knives and other offensive weapons, his sentencing hearing held at Limerick Circuit Court heard Tuesday.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said Mr Tuhoy “knocked the woman to the ground” during a “frenzied” knife attack in which he “held a very large butcher’s knife to her throat and told her he would slit her throat” if she didn’t give him €20.
Earlier on the afternoon of March 11, 2021, Mr Touhy had shouted at the woman on the street that she owed him money.
The woman told Gardaí that Mr Tuohy called to her home and threatened her with a knife, which Gardaí described in court as a “butcher’s knife”.
The woman told Gardaí that Mr Tuohy had told her “I’ll cut your throat, do you know who I am?”, after he had knocked her over a step and leaned into her face as she lay on the ground terrified.
Prosecuting counsel John O’Sullivan BL said the woman told Gardaí that Mr Tuohy told her “he would get a notorious person to sort her out”.
“She said she thought he was going to kill her stone dead, she said he had gone crazy, like he was possessed. She said it happened very quickly but it felt like hours. She said she couldn’t forget the knife,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Mr O’Sullivan said Gardaí found Mr Tuohy severely intoxicated and “in possession of a large silver butcher’s knife” in an off-license premises.
Mr Tuhoy pleaded guilty before Limerick District Court on March 13, 2021, to possession of the knife and having the knife in a public place, and he was released on bail for sentencing to the Circuit Court.
While on bail awaiting the sentence for the knife attack, Mr Touhy was apprehended by Gardaí in his house with €5,841 worth of cocaine after Gardaí received a tip that drugs were being sold form the property.
Gardaí found 83.475 grams of cocaine, a weighing scales, and a mobile phone with messages indicating drug deals underneath floorboards in Mr Tuohy’s bedroom.
Mr Tuhoy told Gardaí he was storing it on behalf of another person in order to pay off a drug debt of €1,200, but he continues to maintain he was not selling it.
He maintains the messages found on the mobile phone related to the sale of cannabis and steroids but not cocaine.
His barrister, Pat Barriscale BL, said Mr Tuohy’s instructions were that he only sold cannabis and steroids to friends when he was “short of cash”.
Despite maintaining he wasn’t selling the cocaine, Mr Tuohy pleaded guilty to possession for sale or supply.
Mr Barriscale said Tuohy had been in “terrible shape” at the time and that the woman did not suffer any physical injuries.
“He was living a chaotic lifestyle, on drink and drugs and moving from one to the other,” Mr Barriscale said.
“He has a three-year-old child with whom he has regular contact and is paying maintenance but he has difficulties with substance abuse, he was employed in the construction industry where he has licenses to drive a forklift and other machinery, but he suffered a hand injury last November and is not working.”
Judge O’Donnell said “alcohol and drugs have been a blight” on Mr Tuohy’s life and he was “caught red handed” with cocaine.
The judge said the knife attack was frightening and that Gardaí believed Mr Tuohy was a “wiling and active participant” in drug dealing.
He jailed Mr Tuohy for 20 months for possession of the knife, and imposed a consecutive three-year sentence, suspending the final 12 months for the cocaine offence.