A TRAVELLER from Limerick city avoided jail after he pleaded guilty to attacking his wifeâ€™s cousin with a hatchet.
Patrick Oâ€™Donoghue, 24, of Rhebogue, Dublin Road, dramatically changed his plea yesterday afternoon after he had initially pleaded not guilty to two charges relating to the incident.
Garda Shane Ryan Roxboro, said Mr Oâ€™Donoghue and another man had hit the injured party - Damien Hackett - with a hatchet at Donoughmore Crescent, John Carew Park on April 24, 2010.
He said Mr Hackett was hit at the back of the head and on the side of his face and that he received 20 stitches at the Mid Western Regional Hospital.
He sustained two lacerations and the court heard he has some permanent scarring as a result of the attack.
The court was told that another man, who has since â€œleft the jurisdictionâ€, hit Mr Hackett once and that Oâ€™Donoghue then hit him a second time.
John Oâ€™Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said Oâ€™Donoghueâ€™s guilty plea was â€œsomewhat of a reliefâ€ as the trial could have been problematic.
Judge Carroll Moran was told the injured party did not wish to give evidence and that he did not want to see Oâ€™Donoghue sent to prison.
â€œHe is anxious that the accused not be given a custodial sentence,â€ said Mr Oâ€™Sullivan who added that Oâ€™Donoghue and Damien Hackett had resolved their difficulties since the incident.
Taking into account the â€œcharitable attidudeâ€ of the injured party the judge imposed a two year prison sentence which he suspended for two years.