A couple asleep in bed in Cork city woke to find an intruder in their bedroom and the stranger then threatened the man he would stab him in the neck if he did not hand over cash.
The culprit has been jailed for five years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Garda Brian Murphy gave evidence at the sentencing of Stephen O’Sullivan, 28, of no fixed address for the burglary at Nicholas Street, Cork, on November 15 2020.
Det. Garda Murphy said access was gained through a downstairs window that was open and that the intruder then went to the bedroom, woke the couple, made the threat and got €60 to €80 in cash before fleeing.
The aggravated burglary was committed at around six o’clock in the morning. At one stage during the crime the accused man told the man to hurry up getting the cash. “He threatened to stab him in the neck if he would not hurry up,” Det. Garda Murphy said.
The detective said, “I have dealt with him over the years. He is 28 years old and avails of homeless services. He has amassed 86 previous convictions including 14 for burglary.” He has also been convicted for robbery and attempted robbery. Stephen O’Sullivan has a chronic heroin addiction.
Det. Garda Murphy said, “His mother is a very decent lady. Unlike a lot of individuals in circumstances like this, Stephen O’Sullivan would have a support network but for whatever reason he has not utilised it.”
Excellent quality CCTV from Nano Nagle Place assisted in identifying the accused at the relevant time.
Ten days after the crime the accused was arrested at Cork Simon Community. The detective said the accused agreed to take part in a formal identity parade and one was arranged. However, the defendant failed to turn up for it and an informal identification took place instead.
Siobhán Lankford defence senior counsel said, “He is trapped in an endless cycle of drugs, offending, relapse and reoffending.
“He does want to break the endless cycle of addiction. And he has attended for courses in prison.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “Aggravating factors in this case are that at 6am he entered a house that was occupied and the nature of the threats he made to the occupants.
“He was brandishing pliers or similar equipment. While he was in the premises he robbed €80. And at the time he was on a year’s suspended sentence.”
The judge said the defendant was clearly given an opportunity of having a suspended sentence previously but with no benefit to him or to society.
“In this case it is very hard to get over being woken from your sleep by a fella brandishing something like a pliers threatening to cut you up,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said as he imposed a seven-year sentence on the accused with the last two years suspended.
The judge noted from victim impact statements that the couple acknowledged the great support they got from Det. Garda Murphy in his investigation of this case.