Victim was falsely imprisoned by man in Kilkenny and had ‘cleaver’ held to his cheek

In this week's Kilkenny People

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


Kilkenny Courthouse

Kilkenny Courthouse

A man convicted of false imprisonment has been sentenced to three years in prison with the the final two years suspended.

Grellan McCarthy, with an address at Ballybeg, Littleton, Thurles, Tipperary appeared before Kilkenny Circuit Court on April 11 for an incident where he tied a man’s hands with “duct tape”.

He also held a meat cleaver to the victim’s cheek during the incident, headbutted and threatened to kill the man - who was a 17-year-old at the time of the attack.

Mr McCarthy was charged under Section 15 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act for false imprisonment and under Section 2 of the same Act for assault. The offences occurred on September 13 in 2010 at 48 Togher Way, Urlingford.

The court heard that the injured party was driving a vehicle on the date in question. Mr McCarthy, 30, was a front seat passenger in the car and both men went to a property rented by Mr McCarthy at the time.

Both men and two other individuals - who did not take part in the attack - entered the property.

Inside Mr McCarthy proceeded to strike the victim a number of times and “once with his head”.

The court heard an issue arose as Mr McCarthy believed the victim had recently stolen an item from the defendant.

Giving evidence, Sgt Mark Carly said Mr McCarthy tied the victim’s hands with “duct tape” and then struck the victim again.

The court heard the injured party suffered a “cut above his eye” but did not require medical treatment.

Mr McCarthy then produced items - including a cleaver for cutting meat - which he held up to the victim’s cheek and threatened to kill the injured party. Sgt Carly said the victim was “in fear for his life”.

A number of minutes later Mr McCarthy removed the tape from the victim’s hands and gave him a towel to clean himself up which the defendant’s legal team said was their client having a “change of heart”.

A statement of complaint was made by the victim on September 14 and Mr McCarthy was arrested on September 15 in relation to the offences.

Sgt Carly said the defendant co-operated with the investigation and “volunteered the items” used in the attack.

Gardaí found a “wooden handle of an axe and a cleaver used for cutting meat” as well as a tea-towel with blood stains on it.

The victim was “badly shaken” by the incident and was “quite upset for some time after”, Sgt Carly told the court.

Mr McCarthy currently lives in England and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest in 2013 after he did not appear for the trial back then.

He was arrested last year on foot of a European Arrest Warrant and he has been in custody since November 27 in the UK and has been in custody in Ireland since November 29.

He has a child in Ireland from a previous partner. He had been living in England prior to his arrest where he had a wife and three young children. He works in construction.

A legal representative for Mr McCarthy said his client at the time of the offence was “drinking heavily as well as taking drugs”.

Mr McCarthy’s defence barrister said the defendant’s father passed away shortly before the offences in question and his father’s passing was of particular “trauma”.

A Probation Services report found Mr McCarthy “of moderate risk of re-offending” and is engaging with psychological services in prison. He is working full time in prison also.

The court heard Mr McCarthy genuine remorse and regrets the “terror” he inflicted on the teenager. A letter of apology was also handed into court to be given to the victim.

Mr McCarthy's legal representative said towards the end of the offence Mr McCarthy had a “change of heart” and gave the victim a cloth to clean himself up.

The defendant has 48 previous convictions including two for assault and one for assault causing harm. The court heard 32 of the previous convictions are for road traffic matters.

Judge Patrick Meghen said among the aggravating factors in the case was the “young age of the victim” who was “assaulted, duct taped and threatened with a cleaver”.

Judge Meghen said the headline sentence in the case was three years but he suspended the final two years and back dated the custodial sentence to November 27 of 2017.

Mr McCarthy also had to enter into a bond to keep the peace for two years. He must also attend psychiatric services in prison and remain drug and alcohol free.

The Judge said the Section 2 charge for assault was taken into consideration.