herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Man held knife to friend's neck and started fire

A MAN who held a knife to his friend's throat and threatened to kill him before starting a fire in his home has been remanded on bail pending sentence in October
A MAN who held a knife to his friend's throat and threatened to kill him before starting a fire in his home has been remanded on bail pending sentence in October

A MAN who held a knife to his friend's throat and threatened to kill him before starting a fire in his home has been remanded on bail pending sentence in October.

Derek Aylmer (39) also threatened to take his own life during the six-hour incident on Christmas night in 2013.

He had been living in his friend Gerard Sheridan's house at the time and has since returned to live there again.

Aylmer pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage at the house in Walkinstown Road, Dublin. He has no previous convictions.

Mr Sheridan, an addiction counsellor, took the stand as a defence witness and told Caroline Biggs, defending, that he understands Aylmer suffers from depression.

Mr Sheridan assured Judge Martin Nolan that his friend has made amends for his behaviour and he feels safe living in the same house as him.

He told Judge Nolan that he believed the time Aylmer spent in prison on remand awaiting sentence was "a short, sharp shock" for him.

He said Aylmer now spends his time maintaining the house and helping him to redecorate it following the fire damage.

Judge Nolan adjourned the case to October to allow for Aylmer to be assessed for suitability for community service.

The court earlier heard how Gda Kevin McHugh told Elva Duffy, prosecuting, that Mr Sheridan returned home on Christmas night at 3am and checked on Aylmer.

Hostile

He said the accused was hostile and had been drinking.

He followed Mr Sheridan into the kitchen and got a bread knife and a smaller knife which he later held to both his and his friend's throat. He told Mr Sheridan "we both aren't going to get out of this alive".

He said that after six hours Mr Sheridan was allowed out of the kitchen.

Gardai were alerted and arrived 10 minutes later, when Aylmer locked himself into the house and started a fire in a bedroom.

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