A 31-YEAR-OLD man responsible for a knife attack at a house party has been sentenced to seven months in prison after leaving his victim with a permanent “reminder of how close he came to an unfortunate end”.
Colm McNamara had left an 8cm scar over the eye of Kalvin Sullivan after severing an artery, Limerick District Court heard.
McNamara, formerly of Mungret Court but currently living in Caherdavin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Smith’s Lane, Cathedral Place, on June 16, 2012.
Inspector Dermot O’Connor said about 15 people were at the party when a dispute broke out between McNamara and Mr Sullivan over something the latter had allegedly said to the girlfriend of McNamara’s friend.
The accused had picked up the knife and struck Mr Sullivan over the head. An artery had been severed over the left eye and eight stitches were needed to close an 8cm wound on Mr Sullivan’s forehead, Insp O’Connor said. The injury had left a permanent scar.
The accused had been asked to leave the party but not before he had shaken hands with his victim, the court heard.
Insp O’Connor said that while in custody in relation to the offence, McNamara had admitted picking an article up and striking Mr Sullivan but could not recall whether it was a knife. But “a bloody knife was recovered wrapped in a brown towel by scenes of crime investigators” after the incident.
Ted McCarthy, solicitor, said his client had been living in Watergate flats at the time of the incident and had been in bad company. But he was now living with his father in Caherdavin, for whom he was caring, and staying out of trouble.
It had not been any of McNamara’s business to involve himself in whatever exchange had been taking place between Mr Sullivan and the young woman at the party “but he took it upon himself to do so in the misguided idea he was coming to her assistance,” the solicitor said.
The weapon was not something McNamara had brought to the party and it had been a case of the accused “grabbing the nearest thing he could find” in the kitchen of the flat where the dispute took place.
The court heard that McNamara had also raised a sum of €360 to date in compensation for the proprietor of Molly Malone’s pub relating to €1800 worth of criminal damage caused to a cigarette machine during the course of a burglary on August 18, 2011.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said that the assault put his offending in “an altogether different category”.
“On April 19, 2012 he entered a plea to causing €1800 criminal damage at Molly Malone’s and within two months of entering that plea - at a time when no compensation had yet been paid - he went to a party where without good reason he interfered in a discussion taking place between others and caused an injury that has left a permanent scar above the left eyebrow that will serve the victim as a daily reminder of how close he came to an unfortunate end at the hands of Mr McNamara,” the judge said.
“Every time he looks in the mirror, he will be reminded of the incident,” he added, imposing a sentence of seven months for assault causing harm.
For burglary at Molly Malone’s, McNamara was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years.