A man has received an eight year prison sentence for firing a machine gun into the front window of a family home with two children inside.
Laurence Grocott (36) fired the gun through the window shortly after their mother had opened the front door to find him standing there and pointing the gun at her face with his finger on the trigger.
She shouted at him “there are kids in the house” before shutting the door on her home at Ballyogan Park, Carrickmines, Dublin on March 3, 2019.
Two shots were then fired into the home, hitting the mantelpiece in the front room. The children were standing just three to four feet away from the shots, Detective Sergeant Colm O'Giollain told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
CCTV footage, played before the court, shows the two girls, aged five and six, cowering with their hands to their ears as shots were fired into their home, before their mother bundles them upstairs to safety.
Grocott of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght pleaded guilty to creating a substantial risk of death or serious harm to others by discharging a firearm on March 3, 2019.
He also admitted unlawful possession of the submachine gun.
His 59 previous convictions include assault, criminal damage and misuse of drugs.
Judge Karen O'Connor said the woman's panic and fear as she tried to move her children to safety were clear from the CCTV footage.
She said the footage also showed the shock and fear on the faces of her children. She noted the attack was premeditated and the shooting was indiscriminate.
She imposed a sentence of eight years. She also imposed a two year sentence for a separate offence of possession of drugs for sale or supply at Killinarden Estate, Tallaght on March 22, 2017.
The court heard that gardaí acting on a tip off found cocaine and cannabis in the house and arrested Grocott and another man at the scene.
Judge O'Connor suspended the final year on condition Grocott keep the peace for one year, giving a final operative prison sentence of ten years with one suspended.
She noted that Grocott has a history of poly-substance abuse and began abusing cocaine and cannabis in his teenage years.
A psychological report described him as a vulnerable man prone to stress who struggles with depression.
Dt Sgt O'Giollain told the court that the victim was at home with her two children and other family members on the night in question when there was a knock on the front door.
When she opened the door, a man she had never seen before was standing there pointing a gun at her face with his finger on the trigger.
She thought he said the name 'Andy', although no Andy lived in the house, the court heard.
She shouted that there were kids in the house before shutting the door.
The house had security cameras both inside and outside and gardaí were able to examine footage, which showed two men walking up the driveway.
They identified Grocott as the man holding the gun, which was partially wrapped in a towel.
Det Sgt O Giollain said the woman and her two children were “traumatised” by the shooting and required treatment for trauma. They did not wish to make a victim impact statement or come to court, he said.
Grocott was on bail for the drugs offence at the time of the shooting offence, the court heard.
Garda Shona Moran told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that gardaí searched a house at Killinarden Estate, Tallaght following a tip-off. Grocott and a co-accused were present in the house at the time.
Gardaí discovered €22,693 worth of cocaine and €1,097 worth of cannabis in the house.