A LIMERICK city man who “sliced” the throat of a another man during a house party has been warned he will go to prison if he does not abstain from illicit drugs.
Eoin Cleary, aged 34, of Rathbane Road, Rathbane pleaded guilty to assaulting Dean Culhane (49) on the evening of July 13, 2011.
Cleary had been due to on trial for a more serious charge in January but his guilty plea to the lesser charge was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Ivan Muldoon said the incident happened at around 10.30pm at a house at Sean Heuston Place.
He told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, the defendant was drinking with a number of friend upstairs when he “got some notion into his head” about Mr Culhane who was downstairs.
Limerick Circuit Court was told Cleary then went downstairs, armed himself with kitchen knife and confronted Mr Culhane.
“He held back his head and sliced his throat with a knife,” said Det Garda Muldoon, who added that the assault was witnessed by another man who was in the house at the time.
While Mr Culhane was hospitalised he did not sustain serious injuries and has fully recovered.
However Mr O’Sullivan submitted that a medical report stated that because of where he had been cut, serious harm could have been caused.
When questioned about the incident the defendant told gardai he had lost it and that it was “a moment of madness”.
Brendan Nix SC, defending, said his client, who is unemployed, has a history of psychiatric illness.
In his evidence, Mr Cleary told the court the incident should not have happened and that he wished to apologise.
While admitting that he still takes a small amount of cannabis he undertook to “completely abstain” after he was warned by Judge Carroll Moran that such a condition of any suspended sentence was “non-negotiable”.
Imposing sentence, Judge Moran said it was difficult to imagine anything worse than “slitting someone’s throat with a knife” and he said it was fortunate the injured party had made a full recovery.
He imposed a three year jail sentence which he suspended for five years on condition Cleary abstains completely from alcohol and illicit drugs.