Michael Bowman SC said his client accepts the victims were not to blame
A MAN who violently attacked two friends during a house party at his home in Limerick was in the middle of a “total psychotic break” at the time, a court has heard.
Shane Lennon, aged 41, who has an address at Elm Road, Riverbank, Annacotty has admitted assaulting the men during the early hours of December 27, 2012.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Noel Nash said the three men had been socialising at a pub in Annacotty before going to Lennon’s then home at Kylemore, Monaleen.
He said they were drinking and taking drugs and that there were no problems until the defendant attacked both men “out of the blue” and without provocation.
One of men – Jeremiah McCarthy (42)– had his face “cut open” by the defendant while the second man – Brian Wade (44) – was headbutted by the defendant when he intervened.
Both men later told gardai that Lennon was agitated and seemed paranoid immediately before the assaults and that it was like “somebody had flicked a switch”.
Jeremiah McCarthy told gardai he believed the defendant was going to kill him and Mr Wade.
He said he did not see the knife but that it was “like someone had thrown a pint of blood over me”.
Brian Wade told gardai the defendant was “totally out of control” and that what happened was totally unprovoked.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told when gardai arrived at the house they found a large pool of blood in the driveway outside as well as spatters of blood on the floor inside the house. A blood-stained knife was located on a counter in the kitchen.
In a voluntary statement two days later, Lennon claimed both men had “squared up” to him and that he “began swinging” to defend himself.
”I thought they would just run, if I didn’t (use the knife) I wouldn't have been injured,” he told gardai.
Detective Garda Nash agreed with John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, who said there was nothing to support this assertion as the defendant did not sustain any defensive injuries.
Michael Bowman SC said his client, who works as a tree surgeon, has a history of depression and is making efforts to address his addiction problems.
He said he believed the victims were “trying to rob him” and that he felt he was under threat.
He said Lennon, who has a number of serious criminal convictions, is engaging with a number of agencies and several reports and testimonials were submitted to the court for consideration.
Mr Bowan said his client accepts there was “absolutely no justification whatsoever” for his client actions and that neither of the victims were to blame.
He said there is no lingering animosity between the men and that he had raised a total of €5,000 which he wished to offer as compensation.
He said Lennon has gone on a “personal journey” in recent years and that he is a much changed individual.
”It is difficult to equate it (what happened) with the man who behaved so grotesquely,” he said.
Mr Bowman said his client had not tried to play the system and that his admissions and guilty plea were significant.
Judge O’Donnell adjourned the matter to October.