Man threatened woman with knife in front of young children

By Aimee Walsh

A man who threatened a woman with a knife in front of her three young children has been jailed for four years.

Joseph Cahill (42) of Bawnlea Avenue, Tallaght, Dublin was one of two men who attacked the woman after she had arranged to meet them to sell two rings she had advertised on the “Done Deal” website.

Fortunestown Shopping Centre01 1

The woman was attacked in the car park of Fortunestown shopping centre

Cahill was armed with a knife and his accomplice had a gun when they met Eileen Hughes and her husband in a car park at Fortunestown shopping centre in Tallaght on March 25, 2018.

The court heard that Ms Hughes had wanted to pay for a family holiday and advertised two rings for sale on Donedeal, which were valued at €12,000 in total.

She got a call from a man who told her he was looking to buy his partner a ring for their anniversary.

She could hear a child in the background and later told gardai that she believed this was to lull her into a false sense of security.

They arranged to meet this man in the car park at Fortunestown and the man asked to inspect the rings.

He asked for paperwork and after taking the second ring, he said he wanted to show his friend the rings.

The court heard that this man then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Ms Hughes’ stomach saying “don’t effing follow us”.

The gunman went to run away and the victim ran after him and grabbed on to him even as he jumped into the driver side of his car.

The court heard that Cahill then came around and tried to pull the victim off and they ended up rolling around on the ground.

The woman later told gardai that she didn't even know Cahill had a knife until her husband ran across and told her.

The gunman then pointed the gun at the husband and the robbers drove off.

The court heard that the woman's three children, aged 4, 6 and 9 were in her jeep at the time.

Last November a jury convicted Cahill of robbery. He had pleaded not guilty to the single count. He has over 100 previous convictions including burglary, theft and offences involving stolen cars.

Judge Karen O’Connor said that the victim had travelled with her children on what should have been a “day of celebration and fun” as the rings were being sold to pay for a holiday.

The victim had instead suffered a “horrendous journey home” following her children witnessing their mother being attacked, the judge said.

She sentenced Mr Cahill to five years, suspending the final twelve months on the condition that he keep the peace for the period of the sentence.

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