Cork man sends flowers after making threat to kill neighbours

Cork man sends flowers after making threat to kill neighbours

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A 30-YEAR-OLD man threatened to kill his neighbours while armed with a knife and lunging at them at their front door — but he later apologised and sent them a card and flowers.

James Spillane made the threat to kill the neighbours at Uplands, Fermoy, on July 26, 2021, as he produced a 10in serrated knife.

Garda Eve Collins described the incident at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

“He lived next door. He banged forcefully at their door. Lunging towards his neighbour, he pointed a knife at his neck, saying, ‘I am going to kill you’.

“The father of the young man being threatened stood between his son and Mr Spillane to protect him. And the defendant said, ‘I am still going to kill him.’ He repeatedly made this threat,” Garda Collins said.

Gardaí were initially so concerned about his mental health that they took him to Sarsfield Court for psychiatric attention.

Spillane was subsequently arrested. He was refused bail at Fermoy District Court but secured bail on conditions at the High Court. However, he breached those conditions and was remanded in custody since October 2021.

Spillane initially admitted only that he was present at his neighbours’ house and had a knife but denied making the death threats. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Judge Boyle accepted Spillane was a vulnerable person who needed support in the community, in particular from the mental health services.

The judge imposed a prison sentence of three years with half of that sentence suspended.

He spent seven months on remand in prison so this is to be taken into consideration in relation to the 18 months imposed.

The young man who faced the death threat did not produce a victim impact statement. His father said he was anxious after the incident, and particularly so about meeting the defendant in the area.

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