Man jailed for eight years for attack and false imprisonment

Gardaí had to force entry into Cork house and use Taser on Bernard Ring, court hears

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for eight years for stabbing another man and falsely imprisoning him during a stand-off with gardaí in Cork city last year.

Bernard Ring pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to John Joe Nevin and to falsely imprisoning Mr Nevin at his mother's house at St Mary's Avenue, St Mary's Road, in Cork on September 21st, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possessing a dumbbell, a gas canister, a glass mirror and a knife in a manner likely to intimidate at his mother's house on the same occasion.

Det Garda Malcolm Walsh told the court how Ring got his mother, Rosarie Ring, and her friend John Joe Nevin to sit on a bed at the family home after they arrived home from a night socialising.


He then dragged a wardrobe in front of the bedroom door and, over the course of the next few hours, held them hostage as he repeatedly attacked Mr Nevin with a knife.

Ring stabbed Mr Nevin in the left leg and in the left knee and then began to stab him randomly about the body, striking his right forearm, left hand and stabbing one of his fingers.

He also skinned him across the forehead and shouted, “I will finish you” in such a threatening manner that Mr Nevin feared for his life, said Det Garda Walsh.

Gardaí were alerted and Det Garda Walsh told how they heard a man shouting from inside the house “Try coming in here with your red dots and there will be a flash and bye-bye motherf**ker.”

Hostage situation

The Garda onscene commander decided to order a forced entry to bring an end to the hostage situation and members of the armed Regional Support Unit forced their way into the house.

Ring appeared at the top of the stairs and threw a yellow gas cylinder at gardaí who deployed an incapacitant spray but it had no effect on Ring who continued to shout abuse and threats at gardaí.

He shouted “Get the f**k out of my house” and he later shouted, “If any of you pigs come up the stairs I will f**king kill you, you f**king pussies” before being zapped by gardaí with a Taser gun.

Defence barrister Peter Flynn said his client had overdosed on benzodiazepine tablets and alcohol on the day and he apologised sincerely for his actions at his mother's home on the night in question.

Garda Walsh said officers found Mr Nevin bleeding from the head and Ms Ring was limping, while Ring’s brother, Gavin, who had also been in the room, left the house when asked to do so.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabhain said Ring, of Kilbarry Place, Farranree, had subjected Mr Nevin – whom he accepted had always been nice to him – to a terrifying ordeal during what was a hostage situation.

‘Horrendous and frightening’

“This was an extremely serious set of incidents . . . the level of violence was horrendous and frightening. There was a deliberate non-communication with the Garda hostage negotiator.

“People were detained in the house overnight in terrorising circumstances notwithstanding the best efforts of the guards outside,” said the judge adding Mr Nevin was “an entirely innocent man”.

He sentenced Ring to 10 years in jail on the false imprisonment charge but suspended the final two years on condition he be of good behaviour and keep the peace upon his release from jail.

And he sentenced him to four years in jail concurrently for the assault causing harm to Mr Nevin and three years concurrent for possession of the four items in a manner likely to intimidate.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times