Man jailed for threatening to kill former partner during court sitting

Judge notes 34-year-old’s ‘considerable criminal record’ as she sentences him to 2.5 years in prison

A Dublin man with a “considerable criminal record” has been jailed for threatening to kill his former partner during a court sitting.

The 34-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of making a threat to kill his former partner, intending her to believe that the threat would be carried out, on July 28th, 2020.

The court heard that the man and his former partner were in a family law courtroom when he told her that if “anything happens, I’m going to f***ing kill you”.

She told the judge what the man had said to her. When asked by the judge, the man denied making a threat to his former partner. A transcript of the court sitting does not include the threat, but the victim can be heard telling the judge what the man had said to her. The man also told the woman, “You want to watch yourself”.


Following his arrest, the man told gardaí that he made the threat in the “spur of the moment” and apologised.

He said he was angry at that moment and admitted that if he had gotten his hands on her at that moment, he would have choked her. The man said he wanted to scare the woman but had no intention of carrying out the threats.

The court heard that the woman declined to make a victim impact statement.

The man has 97 previous convictions and is currently serving a sentence on a separate matter.

No further incidents

The investigating garda agreed with the defence counsel that his client made full admissions during an interview. It was further accepted that there have been no other incidents between the man and the victim since this offence.

Defence counsel told the court that his client had a difficult upbringing and has had issues with drug addiction, which he is dealing with. His client is also the father of two children.

He told the court that his client was open when interviewed, unlike in similar cases where the accused may deny or attempt to justify themselves. He said his client went further during the interview and admitted he could have been physically violent.

His client intended to frighten his former partner but would not have harmed her. No violence occurred.

A letter of apology was handed to the court.

‘Considerable criminal record’

Judge Orla Crowe said the man’s former partner would “undoubtedly have been very concerned” about the threats made.

She said the man’s “considerable criminal record” may have suggested to the victim that he was “someone who would have no difficulty breaking the law”.

She noted the aggravating features include the man’s previous convictions, that he was on bail at the time of the offence and that the victim was his former partner.

Judge Crowe noted that there is a mechanism through the court process in which “people can have their say” and that events should not have “descended into this situation”.

She handed the man a sentence of two years and six months, backdated to June 7th.