Appeal against leniency sentence imposed on Limerick man is rejected

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

THE Court of Criminal appeal has rejected an appeal against the leniency of the sentence handed down to a Limerick man who stabbed two health workers almost four years ago.

THE Court of Criminal appeal has rejected an appeal against the leniency of the sentence handed down to a Limerick man who stabbed two health workers almost four years ago.

In May 2009, Anthony McMahon, now aged 34, of Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston was sentenced to ten years in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Dr Ananth Pullela and to causing serious harm to Dr Catherine Burns at St Anne’s Day Hospital, Roxboro Road on January 17, 2008.

Both doctors sustained life-threatening injuries during the frenzied attack.

The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the sentence imposed arguing that a life sentence should have been imposed on McMahon.

During the appeal, lawyers representing the DPP argued that the sentence imposed by Judge Carroll Moran at Limerick Circuit Court was unduly lenient given the circumstances of the case.

However, the three-judge Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge - Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell - said a sentencing judge can only sentence an offender in respect of the specific offence before the court.

Mr Justice O’ Donnell said the Court did not have the power to impose a sentence for a criminal offence which would allow for an open-ended detention on the grounds of anticipated future risk of harm.

*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, city edition, dated December 17, 2011