A man who threatened to kill a sex worker and who, in another incident, threw his elderly father against a wall and broke his hip, has been sentenced to just over six years in prison.
Lan Byrne, 46, was living with his 84-year-old father at the time of the two incidents and was acting as his caregiver. He was a heavy drug user.
Judge Melanie Greally sentenced him today and suspended the last 18 months to seven years and eight months in prison.
Byrne, of Gilbert Road, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to threatening to kill the woman at his home on March 24, 2018.
He further pleaded guilty to assaulting and harming his father Peter Byrne on December 10, 2020
Referring to the death threat incident, Garda Richard Whiston told Kathleen McGillicuddy BL, Prosecutor, that Byrne arranged for a female escort to come to his home at 8am on the morning in question.
He paid the woman a two-hour stay, gave her 375 euros and $100, and the couple engaged in sexual activity, the court heard.
Byrne snorted crack cocaine and they both drank some alcohol.
At the end of the two hours, Byrne asked the woman to stay longer, but he wouldn’t agree to her asking price of $250, so she prepared to leave.
Byrne then pinned the woman against the wall, holding her face and calling her a “whore” before telling her she wasn’t leaving his home, the court heard.
Over a period of about 40 minutes, Byrne slapped the woman in the face, threatened her with a mock gun and knife, and told her he would “stab her in the heart if she moved and no one would know he killed her.” “. the court heard.
He held the gun, which the woman believed to be real, to her head. He told her he would kill her.
The woman managed to call a friend and ask her to call Gardaí after Byrne told her to call her “pimp”.
By this point he had taken back the money he had given her and thrown it all over the bedroom.
When gardaí knocked on the door, Byrne told them he had a knife and to get out, saying: “She’s not coming out of here either”.
Gardaí then forced entry and Byrne was pepper sprayed, Gda Whiston said.
The woman was in need after the incident, the court heard.
She has since returned to her native Romania and declined to comment on the impact of the victim.
When interviewed by gardaí, Byrne said he believed the woman was trying to rob his elderly father of money.
Defender Feargal Kavanagh SC said Byrne was paranoid at the time due to the crack cocaine he was taking.
He was addicted to heroin from a young age, the court heard.
Regarding the incident of the attack, neighbors, including Byrne’s brother, alerted Gardaí to an incident at the home after hearing broken glass and an argument between a man and a woman.
Byrne told the Gardaí, who arrived at the scene just after 6.30am, that his house had just been broken into.
He said it was two intruders who smashed the glass in the front door, attacked his father and stabbed him.
Detective Garda Richard Pender told Ms McGillicuddy that Byrne’s alleged stab wounds, which he showed the Gardaí, were superficial and looked more like fingernail injuries.
He did not need medical attention, but his father was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Gardaí were then informed by neighbors that Byrne was heard arguing with his girlfriend that morning, and overheard saying, “You get life for what you did to your father.”
It was also determined that the glass was on the outside of the door and not inside the house, which would be expected if the house had been broken into, as Byrne had claimed. The house had not been searched.
Karl Monahan BL, defending himself, said his client was “very apologetic” and that Byrne had told him he would “like to hug his father and say I love you”.
His 20 criminal records include public order, traffic and no-show. He has no convictions for violence.
Det Gda Pender said Gardaí spoke to Byrne’s father two days after the attack.
He said he was sleeping in his downstairs bedroom when he was dragged out of his bed and wheeled across the room by someone demanding money. He said the person was a stranger to him.
Mr Byrne later contracted Covid while undergoing surgery on his hip and Gardaí were unable to speak to him for four weeks.
He then issued a second statement, admitting that his son caused his injuries.
He said he made up the previous statement because he “didn’t want to get Alan in trouble,” but said he was afraid to go back home to his son and would now live with his other son in the house next door.
He described Byrne as a very strong man – “a big guy”.
He said Byrne lifted him over his head and threw him against the wall “like I was a feather.”
He said Byrne yelled and screamed and “poisoned me”. “He could have yelled at me about an hour before. I screamed and cried in pain, he threw me about a meter.”
Mr Byrne Snr told gardaí his son had been his carer for a number of years, collecting his pension and medicines and looking after his daily needs. He said he no longer wanted to live with him because he was scared.
A victim impact statement prepared by Peter Byrne states that he wakes up in a cold sweat thinking about the attack and regularly bursts into tears. He said he has lost his mobility and independence and is dependent on others to help him in his daily life.
He said his heart was broken as he lost his son – someone he trusted and trusted. Mr Monahan said his client devoted a large part of his life to caring for his father.
He became addicted to drugs after leaving school at the age of 14. He later began using harder drugs and subsequently became addicted to heroin. He is now on a methadone program, the court heard.
https://www.independent.ie/news/man-who-threatened-to-kill-a-sex-worker-jailed-for-six-years-41875085.html Man who threatened to kill sex worker jailed for six years