Limerick man stabbed in the face while he slept

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A MAN who fell asleep at a bus stop on Mulgrave Street was repeatedly stabbed in the face with a kitchen knife in an “unprovoked and brutal attack”, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

A MAN who fell asleep at a bus stop on Mulgrave Street was repeatedly stabbed in the face with a kitchen knife in an “unprovoked and brutal attack”, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Damien O’Brien, 25, with an address at St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, was charged with assault causing harm on April 7 this year.

The defendant, who has 106 previous convictions, admitted committing the offence in a drink and drug fuelled attack, telling gardai “I want to do life” [in prison] and that he had “a bit of shit in my head” on the day in question.

State prosecutor John O’Sullivan, BL, said Mr O’Brien pulled the knife on the 48 year-old injured party and stabbed him up to seven times in the face.

The victim had fallen asleep in a corner of the bus shelter, after consuming a “copious amount of alcohol”. He woke up after 11pm and recalled seeing someone with a knife in his hand.

The victim shouted ‘Stop, stop’, Mr O’Sullivan told the court, and made his escape by running towards the Brother Russell home.

“It was a brutal attack, that took him by surprise,” he added.

Mr O’Brien told gardai he had drank a couple of cans as well as 40-50 “Up-Johns”, or relaxants, throughout the day.

“I black out when taking them,” he told gardai during a series of interviews. “I suppose it [the attack] was due to the tablets.”

The injured party, who was not in court for the hearing, suffered wounds near his left eye, left ear and abrasions to his face.

He required treatment in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle, but was left with no permanent scarring. Photos of his battered and bloodied face were shown to Judge Carroll Moran during the hearing.

The defendant has over 100 previous convictions arising from 56 separate court appearances, including charges for assault, criminal damage, theft, possession of knives, and burglary.

Michael Collins, BL, for the defence, said Mr O’Brien made full admissions to gardai at Henry Street station. His client has been in trouble with the law since he was 15 and has suffered a history of difficulties with alcohol and drugs.

“I was clean from drugs for months,” he told gardai. “I was supposed to go to Dublin for treatment. But I went back down on the drugs. I was so annoyed, so pissed off with myself. I think he ran away.”

Judge Moran said this is a “very serious matter” and the defendant has a “very bad record”. He queried whether a psychiatric assessment may be required in this case. The case will resume this Wednesday, October 19.