A 25-year-old Cork man terrified his own family when he turned up outside their home and tried to hit himself in the head with a hatchet.
Matters became even more frightening for them when he climbed over the back wall, banged on a window and started cutting his own wrist.
The young man’s mother wiped tears from her eyes today as she gave victim impact evidence at his sentencing hearing.
“It has turned our lives upside down again. To see the son that I love in this situation again it is not the life I want for my son,” the defendant’s mother said at an in camera hearing of Cork District Court.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background to the case and said the defendant attended at the family home after being told not to attend.
On February 27 he rang and said he was coming out to the house. He was told that if he did the guards would be called.
He then turned up at the door, picked up a hatchet and tried to hit himself in the head with it. His family would not leave him as they were afraid of him with the hatchet.
Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said: “This has been an ongoing saga for years. He has a very bad addiction.”
Mr Burke said that to be fair to the defendant’s parents they had done their best to support their son but unfortunately, he has gone downhill again.
“He became homeless and fell back into addiction. He was living on the street. I hate saying it but he is doing better in prison. He is off drugs,” Mr Burke said.
Since he was remanded in custody at the end of last month he rang home to apologise. His mother acknowledged that but said she could not bring herself to visit him in prison.
Sgt Davis said the defendant’s 15 previous convictions included two counts of breaching a barring order for which he was given first, a three-month sentence, and second, a four-month sentence.
For this third breach of the barring order, Judge Olann Kelleher sentenced him to six months in prison.
The judge said he accepted the defendant was contrite but he said nothing had changed since the two previous breaches.