Murderer who threatened barrister jailed
Lawyer had makeshift knife held to her throat as killer tried to escape custody
A convicted murderer who held a “shiv” of jagged Perspex to his female barrister’s throat and threatened to kill her in an attempt to escape custody has been given an eight-year sentence.
Seán Ducque (34), who was due to go on trial for murder the following week, had hidden the improvised weapon down his trousers and attempted to use his barrister as leverage to escape from a cell in a courthouse.
“Let me out of the f***ing cell now or I am going to kill her,” Ducque told prison officers, adding “I am facing life anyway.”
A violent struggle with three prison officers and two gardaí followed before Ducque was restrained.
Ducque, formerly of Cloonlara Crescent, Finglas, Dublin, who has 44 previous convictions, was subsequently convicted of murder last July and is currently serving a life sentence.
Yesterday’s sentence is consecutive to a five-year term he is currently serving for assault with intent to commit unlawful seizure of a taxi, imposed in May 2016.
Ducque pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim, falsely imprisoning her and making a threat to kill her in a cell at a District Court in Dublin on June 8th, 2017.
Ducque also pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting three prison officers causing them harm and attempting to escape from lawful custody on the same occasion.
Judge Melanie Greally said Ducque had subjected the injured party to “an utterly terrifying ordeal” and noted that as well as the physical attack, the “overt threat to kill” had caused huge trauma.
She commended the woman for her immense bravery in describing the devastating effects the attack had on her in her victim impact statement. She noted that the two of the prison officers sustained injuries and they all suffered “stress, trauma and anxiety” as a result of the incident.
The judge noted Ducque’s convictions and said it was clear he was someone who was capable of extreme violence in many manifestations. She took into account his guilty plea and admissions.
She imposed concurrent sentences totalling eight years to be served consecutive to his current term.
The woman’s victim impact statement said it had been her dream to work as a barrister but the incident has had a devastating impact on her personally
‘‘ I am scared to be near people and terrified to be alone
She said she had never known fear like that day and believed that she could die.
She said she had suffered panic attacks, nightmares and people touching her could cause her to jump. “I am scared to be near people and terrified to be alone,” she said.
The woman said she had treated Ducque in a professional capacity “with kindness, respect and humility” but he had not returned the favour.
She described how she was afraid something like this could happen again but said she fights every day for her recovery.
Luigi Rea, defending, said Ducque had no personal animosity towards his victim and had attempted to use her as leverage to escape.
He said Ducque had deluded himself into thinking he could somehow engineer his escape.