A MAN who stabbed his friend of over 20 years at a party in Castleconnell on New Year’s day because he envied his situation in life has been ordered by a judge to stay off alcohol and all illegal intoxicants for a year.
Vincent Leamy, 40, who resided in Castleconnell at the time but is now living in Moyross, admitted attacking his friend after consuming a large amount of alcohol and a number of Xanex tablets, or relaxants, “chased down by a few mouthfuls of Bacardi” on January 1.
The court heard that this “unprovoked attack” has “irrevocably fractured a 20-year friendship” between both men.
The defendant had been celebrating New Year’s Eve at his friend’s home in Scanlon Park, Castleconnell, with the victim’s partner and their four children, but hours later he voluntarily went to the garda station the next day to admit the attack.
He pleaded guilty to assault causing harm after he hit and kicked his friend in the jaw, sliced his hand with a short blade knife and stabbed him in the side.
The victim had tried to quell rising tensions, and walked him to the front door, when Leamy stuck his face into his forehead and said ‘I’ll fix you’.
He then produced a blade and stabbed him a number of times, before kicking him as he lay on the drive-way.
Limerick Circuit Court heard the victim collapsed on his kitchen floor and when he woke after 6am he initially thought he was suffering a bad hangover and went up to bed.
His partner became alarmed, and an ambulance was called, arriving at hospital at around 9am.
He spent four days in hospital, where he was on a drip, but has made a full recovery.
The defendant took his friend’s mobile phone by mistake while leaving the house, and sent a number of texts the next day to his friend’s partner phone, apologising for what has happened, saying ‘Are you Okay? Sorry mate’.
However, in his statement to the gardai Leamy claimed that the injured party had pulled a knife on him and said he was acting in self-defence.
The injured party initially declined to make a complaint and did not submit a victim impact statement to the court, saying he wished to put the matter behind him.
Defence counsel Brian McInerney described the case as an advertisement for abstinence and responsible consumption of alcohol, and said his client “went through a bad patch after separating from his partner”.
Mr McInerney said his client is “generally of good-ish character” and has “changed his lifestyle immeasurably” since this incident. He has also completed a 12-week programme with Aljeff.
Leamy has a number of drink-related public order convictions, among a total of 17 convictions.
Mr McInerney described the victim, who is aged 34, as having a “similar type profile”.
He gave an undertaking under oath to stay off alcohol and other intoxicants for one year and was warned by Judge Carroll Moran he faces a three-year sentence if he fails to abstain.
He was warned by the court that the order includes major occasions such as New Year’s Eve and St Patrick’s Day.