Man jailed for threatening to kill woman and put her in boot

27-year-old has 82 previous convictions

Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street, Dublin.

Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street, Dublin.

 

A man who admitted he threatened to kill a woman and put her in the boot of his car as she collected her son from school has been given eight years in consecutive sentences.

Thomas McConnell (27) made the threats over a drug debt that has since been settled, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Louise Sheridan in Ballymun on August 23rd, 2011.

McConnell of Dunemer Rise, Lusk had initially denied the charge and other similar offences but pleaded guilty following a four-day trial last month.

Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced him to six years with three suspended for the offence and ordered that he have no contact with the injured party for 30 years.

He was also sentenced to two years for a second charge of having the head shop drug ‘Snow Blow’ for sale or supply at his home on October 12, 2010.

The court heard that the drugs were found during a garda search of McConnell’s house and had an estimated street value of €16,164. The drug was criminalised prior to the offence and he was on bail on this count when he threatened Ms Sheridan.

Judge Ryan backdated the two-year sentence giving him a credit of 14 months for time already spent in custody.

McConnell has 82 previous convictions, which include criminal damage, road traffic offences and possession of firearms.

Garda Brian Fahy told Colm O’Briain BL, prosecuting, that Ms Sheridan had noticed McConnell’s car outside her son’s school when she collected the child that day and deliberately took the long route home to avoid him.

When she and her son got to their house she saw McConnell sitting in a car outside and he asked her where a man she knew was.

When she said she didn’t know, McConnell started screaming at her: “Louise I will fucking kill you, do you not understand that?”

He got out of the vehicle and opened the boot showing Ms Sheridan a steel pole and a hammer before he said to her: “I will put you in the boot of the car”.

He then drove off after telling Ms Sheridan “I’ll be back later”.

Gda Fahy said Ms Sheridan felt very threatened by the incident and thought that McConnell would come back. She later moved house.

McConnell was arrested but maintained his right to silence during garda interview.

The court heard that he has since written a letter apologising to Ms Sheridan but this has not provided the woman with any comfort.

Dominic McGinn SC, defending, said a current report showed McConnell was doing well in his drug treatment course. The report also said that McConnell was “honest, sincere and hard-working in his approach to his recovery”.

Counsel said McConnell’s brother Ian died in 2005 which led to his client’s addiction to both crack cocaine and heroin.

Mr McGinn added that his client he has been offered a roofing job.