Prison term for man who violently stabbed flatmate at Limerick apartment complex

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Prison term for man who violently stabbed flatmate at Limerick apartment complex

Gardai at the scene of the incident in 2019

A MAN who violently stabbed his flatmate while he was experiencing an “acute psychotic episode” has been sentenced to seven and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell said he had “not lost sight” of the appalling injuries sustained but added that he was required to balance things in whatever sentence he imposed.

Jean Louis Fancony, 37, of no fixed abode was convicted by a jury last November of “intentionally causing serious harm” to the 33-year-old victim on July 22, 2019.

Detective Garda Colum O’Shea told Limerick Circuit Court the incident happened at an apartment the pair shared at Riverpoint in the city centre at around 3.30pm.

He said the French national, who had lost his job a number of months earlier, had been acting strangely on the day and that he stabbed the victim several times with a large bread knife.

The victim managed to escape from the apartment but was followed as he made his way along a corridor and down to the foyer of the apartment complex.

Detective Garda O’Shea said the alarm was raised by a passer-bye who described how the victim had his intestines “in his hand” as he emerged onto the street.

Members of Limerick Fire and Rescue who were on a training exercise nearby were alerted and provided assistance as did paramedics who were in an ambulance which was flagged down.

The detective told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Fancony returned to the apartment before leaving via a fire escape and walking along the Dock Road.

A knife was recovered when he was located near the Irish Cement Roundabout later in the day. 

Mr Fancony was taken to Unit 5B at University Hospital Limerick for assessment a number of hours after his arrest but was discharged the following day.

While a defence of self-defence was put forward during the trial, Mr O’Sullivan said this had been rejected by the jury and he submitted that provocation was “not a feature of the case”.

The victim, who was underwent life-saving surgery following the attack, described how he still finds it “hard to comprehend” what happened and how it is heartbreaking not being able to do a lot of things he used to do before the was stabbed.

“It is a life sentence for me” he said adding: “I am now fearful and worried of what the future holds.”

Judge O’Donnell commented that the victim had sustained horrific injuries and that he was “extremely lucky to be alive”.

However, he said Mr Fancony’s “mental state at the time,” his personal circumstances and his previous good record were matters he had to consider.

He imposed a nine year prison sentence, suspending the final 18 months.