01 Oct 2022

Kilkenny Court: Family terrified by intruders shouting 'where’s my f***ing money’

Kilkenny Court

A suspended prison sentence has been handed down to a man convicted of demanding money with menaces by Kilkenny Circuit Court.

Karlos Mitrikas, 24 Hollybank Drive, Clongowan, Kilkenny, was charged after he entered another man’s home and left family members ‘terrified.’

Detective Garda James Leech told the court that on November 11, 2019, Aaron Rodgers was at his home at Maudlin Street, Kilkenny, with members of his family, including a number of children.
Mr Mitrikas arrived at the home, with another man who is since deceased, and they forced their way in. Their purpose for going there was to demand money for a drug debt from Mr Rodgers .

Both men had a physical altercation with Mr Rodgers with Mr Mitrikas shouting: “Aaron, where is my f***ing money.”
The whole thing went on for less than ten minutes.
Mr Rodgers and Mr Mitrikas had previously been friendly.

The other man tried to ‘rugby tackle’ Mr Rodgers , there was some grappling and Mr Rodgers knocked the men off balance. There was some trading of blows between them. He picked up a poker and swung it at the men, defending himself and ending the incident. The two men ran out the door and Mr Rodgers called 999. He suffered relatively minor injuries to his face.
Both men were identified by Mr Rodgers and arrested by gardaí.

When interviewed Mr Mitrikas gave ‘no comment’ responses, he exercised his right to silence. The other man made admissions about his involvement.
Mr Mitrikas had seven previous convictions, including one for assault and two for possession of drugs.

Mr Rodgers didn’t give a victim impact statement but his partner and one of the children in the house at the time did.
Detective Garda Leech read the statements in court.
Karen O’Neill said she was in constant fear after the incident and lay awake at night reliving the incident, thinking about how to stop it happening again and how to protect her family.
Any loud knock on her front door terrified her and she was living in fear in her own home that it would happen again. Ms O’Neill said ‘anxiety had become her best friend’ and looking over her shoulder had become the new normal.

Mr Rodgers’ young daughter also gave a written impact statement. She said she was terrified when the men came into her house. She took her two sisters on to her bed ‘to protect them.’ Now when someone knocks on the door and she doesn’t know who it is she is afraid someone will hurt her siblings. “I love my house because it’s my home but I still get nightmares about that night.” There were four children upstairs in the house and they heard what happened.

Barrister Dylan Redmond, prosecuting, said Mr Rodgers had at one time been a drug user and still had a drug debt of €6,000.

Jane McCudden, defending, said it was accepted the other man with Mr Mitrikas was the main protagonist.
She said Mr Mitrikas did not give an account to gardaí but did to the Probation Service. He told them at the time he was under pressure because of a debt he owed. He needed to raise money quickly.

Since the offence Mr Mitrikas has not come to garda attention. The probation report said he was at low risk of reoffending.
He offered €1,000 to Mr Rodgers in compensation.

Ms McCudden said that at the time of the offence her client was under pressure arising from his drug use at the time, he was subject to threat and was ‘desperate’.
She said Mr Mitrikas’ role was secondary to the other man and when in the house said to him twice ‘let’s go.’
He spent two weeks on remand which was a salutary lesson for him. He has taken steps to turn his life around, attended counselling and an anger management course.

The barrister said Mr Mitrikas had a difficult childhood and has taken positive, mature steps to address those past problems.
He is a full time carer for his mother and cared for his siblings from a young age because of her addiction issues. He did three of four years of a degree course and hopes to return to education. He works part time and is a devoted family man with a partner and young child.

“This is an offence that used to be quite a rare offence but is quite common now because of the drug epidemic,” Judge Cormac Quinn observed.
The judge said Mr Mitrikas was fortunate he had a very good probation report and that some time had passed since the offence. If not for that he would be imposing a custodial sentence.
Judge Quinn imposed a sentence of 12 months imprisonment, suspended in full for 12 months on condition Mr Mitrikas enter a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, and that he pay €1,000 in compensation to Mr Rodgers.

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