'One strike of a match and it’s bye-bye kids': Man poured petrol outside Cork home and threatened to behead woman 

'One strike of a match and it’s bye-bye kids': Man poured petrol outside Cork home and threatened to behead woman 

He was given a two-year suspended jail term at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

A mother-of-four was threatened by a man that he would cut off her head and as he spilled petrol outside her house he said, “One strike of a match and it’s bye-bye kids.” 

 John Paul Hastings, 36, who is living at Riverside Avenue, Cobh, County Cork, was given a two-year suspended jail term at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Garda Dave O’Shea said that by the defendant’s own admission he had consumed one litre of vodka and ten cans of Budweiser before he made the threats.

At one stage, Hastings told the householder, “He would take the head clean off her with a knife.” 

Defence barrister, John Devlin, said of the accused, “He made a serious nuisance of himself.

Not come to attention of Gardaí since incident 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that although the threats made were very serious and they were believed at the time, the defendant had not come to the attention of gardaí since this happened almost a year ago. The judge also said reports from the probation service and Arbour House were also favourable. 

Hastings pleaded guilty that on May 2/ May 3 2020 he threatened a woman that she and her children would be killed or seriously harmed at their home in Cobh.

Sergeant Tony O’Flynn said on a previous occasion that shortly before midnight last May 2, the woman was at home with her partner and four children and she had ordered a takeaway. She heard a noise at her front door and thought it was the takeaway delivery.

She opened the door to see John Paul Hastings, who was extremely intoxicated and agitated.

There was a small motorcycle outside the house which he knocked over, spilling petrol on the ground and made the threatening remark about the children.

Sgt. O’Flynn said Hastings left the area only to return carrying a knife. Gardaí from the armed support unit were called to arrest him.

The family living at the house were so concerned that even though they had settled in the area over a period of six years they moved to an alternative location when this occurred.

Judge Ó Donnabháin noted from a background report on the accused that there was stability at the moment but added, 

“When he goes out of control he goes significantly out of control.” 

Sgt. Foley agreed with that assessment and said, “There is no intermediate level.”

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