A MIDDLE-AGED man, who went to Inchigeelagh for a quiet life, had the door of his apartment kicked in and he feared for his life as a result of the behaviour of a man in a neighbouring flat who had also moved to the area.
Garda Carmel Nash said gardaí responded to a 999 call at 11pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, to an apartment at Graigue, Inchigeelagh, county Cork, where a 51-year-old man was in fear.
He said his neighbour, Stephen Hickey, aged 42, was threatening to kill him and that he was absolutely terrified and in fear for his life.
Stephen Hickey was in the caller’s apartment and a younger man, 20-year-old Charlie Russell, was also shouting at him.
Garda Nash said the injured party had no lock on his apartment door and became nervous with the rising volume of voices from the neighbouring apartment so he put a couch up against the door and wedged the handle with a shovel and a brush.
However, his door was kicked in as Stephen Hickey caused damage to it.
The injured party knew Hickey and asked him what he was doing — and this seemed to have the effect of calming him down somewhat.
Hickey pleaded guilty to burglary whereby he forced his way in to cause damage. Garda Nash said there was no question of a theft taking place.
Hickey had previous convictions, including five for assault and 17 for public order.
Co-accused, Russell, was charged with a different offence of trespass. He was homeless at the time and living in emergency accommodation in Macroom.
He only met Hickey earlier that day and they went drinking together and ended up in Inchigeelagh.
Peter O’Flynn, defence barrister, submitted that Russell was not an active participant in the main confrontation.
John Devlin, barrister, said Hickey now realised that drink was at the root of his problems and that he hopes to turn his life around.
Judge Catherine Staines sentenced Hickey to three years, with the last year suspended.
She put Russell on a 12-month probation bond for his more limited part in the incident.
The injured party said he had moved to Inchigeelagh for a quiet life but now felt he had to move away because of Stephen Hickey’s actions.
He said he had tried to be of some support and understanding with Hickey as he was aware of the difficulty of tackling addiction.