Seven years in jail for attacks in Cork
A MAN who went on the rampage in Cork last year has been jailed for seven years. He was convicted for a series of offences including attacking a garda, stealing his SUV, driving on pedestrianised streets in Cork city and stealing an airport vehicle and almost hitting an aircraft at Cork Airport.
Edmond Stapleton (38), originally from Dublin Hill in Cork and now of no fixed abode, was given a 12-year sentence with five years suspended by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for 12 offences in Cork on May 22nd, 2011.
The judge said there was no doubt that Stapleton was a violent and aggressive man who had put people’s lives in danger by his actions. He noted how citizens in Cork city had to run for safety when he drove down pedestrianised streets.
He had shown a frighteningly high level of violence in attacking Garda Michael Bohane with a knife and taking his car and he had shown a disregard for the safety of others as he drove on to the ramp at Cork Airport.
“You presented a real live danger to other drivers, workers and passengers on board two aircraft,” said Judge Ó Donnabháin as he recalled evidence from airport staff saying that up to 400 people could have been killed or injured if Stapleton had hit fully fuelled aircraft.
Earlier the court heard from Garda Bohane, Det Garda Emmet Daly and airport policeman Michael Delaney, who all told of how they feared that they were going to die after Stapleton either threatened them with a knife or rammed them in one of the stolen vehicles.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said Stapleton had displayed a surprising level of determination and preparation in his actions.
He was extremely fortunate to have survived his escapade as, had it happened in some other jurisdictions, lethal force would have been applied.
In that regard, Garda Sgt Dan Coholan of the armed Regional Support Unit was to be commended for disarming Stapleton with non-lethal weaponry.
“Sgt Coholan’s response was professionalism of the highest standard,” he said