A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in jail with five suspended for a number of incidents in Cork city and Cork Airport last year.

Edward Stapleton, from Dublin Hill in Cork city, threatened to kill a garda and drove at two planes fully loaded with passengers and fuel.

He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at his trial at the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork.

But the prosecution said he was on drugs at the time of the offences.

Stapleton was brought to the court today for sentencing, in the words of his counsel, remorseful and ashamed of what he had done.

On the afternoon of 22 May 2011, the former Naval Service mechanic hijacked a garda jeep and drove to Cork Airport where, the court heard, the lives of hundreds of people were put at risk.

He missed one plane loaded with fuel and full of holidaymakers by inches.

Stapleton was subdued, tazered twice and eventually arrested within metres of a second plane, which was also ready to depart.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin described Stapleton as a violent and aggressive man who had a capacity to harm people and was a danger to the public.

The judge said Stapleton showed a frighteningly-high level of violence, a surprising level of deliberation and was a real, live risk to the people he came in contact with on the day.

Stapleton was sentenced to 12 years in jail, but the judge suspended five years of the sentence in what he described as a substantial carrot for him to rehabilitate and stay out of trouble in the future.