Man jailed for four years for knife threats to woman

A 26-year-old man who broke into a woman's home and threatened to cut her to pieces has been jailed for four years.

Londonderry Magistrates Court was told the victim woke to find Joseph Patrick McDermott, from Rosskeen Park in the city, standing in her bedroom armed with a knife.

He asked for an individual by name, and threatened to attack her.

He then set fire to some clothes, and threatened two neighbours.

Judge Piers Grant said it was a most serious offence, and there was clearly an element of pre-meditation.

He said the victim was particularly vulnerable, and McDermott had acted as he had because he could intimidate her.

He said McDermott had an "appalling" record of 52 offences in the last ten years, and displayed a tendency towards serious violence, and he was satisfied he was a danger to the public.

McDermott was sentenced to four years in jail, and was told he must serve a minimum of two years before being eligible for licence.

He will also face an extended licence period of a further two years.