A YOUNG mother of three told a judge and jury that she woke at six o’clock in the morning to see a man tapping a knife against her leg and she testified that he later threatened to kill her.
The case against 29-year-old Jamie McKenzie, of Dun Eoin, Carrigaline, County Cork, opened before Judge Helen Boyle and a jury of three women and nine men at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The complainant testified: “I woke to Jamie McKenzie tapping my leg with the end of a knife, saying ‘I am here now, I am in your room, what are you going to do?’
“It was six o’clock in the morning. He was tapping my leg with it. He was poking my leg with it. It was a ceramic knife with a grey handle.
“He was shouting he was going to stab him, where is he? I said there is no one else here (except her three children). I was confused as to why he was there in the house.
“I was trying to coax him to come downstairs. I got him out to the hall. I walked down the stairs. I tried to stay calm. (Otherwise) I thought it might aggravate him more.
“The last thing I wanted was some stranger standing in my house. He said I did not think he could get in. He said he could get in anywhere, he could always get into my house.
“I was trying calm him saying, do you want a cup of tea, do you want a fag?
“He said he would have no problem to kill me or my family — I took that to mean the three kids. He put the knife up to me — up by my cheek, by my face… He said he has killed before and he would do it to me.
“He picked a butter knife out of my kitchen and ran upstairs looking for someone else. He came back with a Hoover handle.
“He said he was looking for someone, he would be back anytime, he knows how to get in to my house anytime.
“At one stage he took off his jacket and shirt and T-shirt and said, ‘You don’t know what you are dealing with. I am a different kind of animal’. I said, ‘put your clothes on, I don’t want to traumatise my children.’ He said he will do nothing to my kids. I was absolutely terrified,” the witness said.
She said it lasted from around 6am to 8am.
Seamus Roche, senior counsel, said CCTV of the defendant showed him leaving his girlfriend’s house at 6.11am and returning at 7.29am so it was impossible for him to have been there for two hours as described by the complainant.
The witness denied under cross-examination that she had ever invited him into her house — “100% never, absolutely not.”
Mr Roche suggested that the defendant was concerned that the witness might have been seeing one man when she was in a relationship with another.
She replied that he told her: “He would kill me and my family.”
Mr Roche said that at one stage she — the complainant — said to the defendant: “I will fix you.”
She rejected this and replied: “So now you are saying I made threats. This is the first time I heard of that.”
At the outset of the trial the defendant pleaded not guilty to all four charges against him. At the end of the day he was re-arraigned on one charge — obstructing Garda Tony Devane — and he pleaded guilty to that.
The jury will hear further evidence on the remaining three charges — aggravated burglary while armed with a knife at a house in Carrigaline on March 28, 2020, threatening to kill the woman living there and falsely imprisoning her.