Man fires two shots through front window of family home

By Isabel Hayes

A man has received an eight year prison sentence for firing a machine gun into the front window of a family home with two children inside.

Laurence Grocott (36) fired the gun through the window shortly after their mother had opened the front door to find him standing there and pointing the gun at her face with his finger on the trigger.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

She shouted at him “there are kids in the house” before shutting the door on her home at Ballyogan Park, Carrickmines, Dublin on March 3, 2019.

Two shots were then fired into the home, hitting the mantelpiece in the front room. The children were standing just three to four feet away from the shots, Detective Sergeant Colm O’Giollain told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

CCTV footage, played before the court, shows the two girls, aged five and six, cowering with their hands to their ears as shots were fired into their home, before their mother bundles them upstairs to safety.

Grocott of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght pleaded guilty to creating a substantial risk of death or serious harm to others by discharging a firearm on March 3, 2019. He also admitted unlawful possession of the submachine gun.

His 59 previous convictions include assault, criminal damage and misuse of drugs.

Judge Karen O’Connor said the woman’s panic and fear as she tried to move her children to safety were clear from the CCTV footage.

She said the footage also showed the shock and fear on the faces of her children. She noted the attack was premeditated and the shooting was indiscriminate.

She imposed a sentence of eight years. She also imposed a two year sentence for a separate offence of possession of drugs for sale or supply at Killinarden Estate, Tallaght on March 22, 2017.

The court heard that gardai acting on a tip off found cocaine and cannabis in the house and arrested  Grocott and another man at the scene.

Judge O’Connor suspended the final year on condition Grocott keep the peace for one year, giving a final operative prison sentence of ten years with one suspended.

She noted that Grocott has a history of poly-substance abuse and began abusing cocaine and cannabis in his teenage years.

A psychological report described him as a vulnerable man prone to stress who struggles with depression.   

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