21-year-old who stabbed homeless man and then sliced his face is jailed for ten years

A man who stabbed a homeless man leaving him seriously injured and later returned to slice the man’s face with a knife has been given a ten year sentence with 18 months suspended.

Michael Power (21) cut across his victim’s face from his ear to the angle of his mouth. The man required 48 stitches and has been left with a permanent scar.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the victim, Thomas Hanrahan, suffered potentially life threatening injuries and had to have his spleen removed. He will be on life long medication.

Power, of Parslickstown Gardens, Mulhuddart, Dublin was convicted by a jury following a trial earlier this year of two counts of assaulting Mr Hanrahan, one count of causing him serious harm and two counts of possession of a knife at locations in south inner city Dublin on June 27, 2015.

Power, who has 33 previous convictions, has been in custody on this matter since July 2015.

Judge Elma Sheahan said the victim had been sitting in a doorway minding his own business when he was subjected to this “unprovoked and vicious” attack. She noted from the victim impact report that the offence had had a “devastating” effect on Mr Hanrahan.

She noted Power had engaged in courses during his time in custody, including the alternative to violence program for which he is now a facilitator. She also noted his youth, his supportive family background and the fact he is no longer abusing substances.

Judge Sheahan imposed concurrent sentences totalling ten years and suspended the final 18 months in order to encourage his rehabilitation. She backdated the sentence to July 2015.

Power is not to have any involvement or approach Mr Hanrahan for five years after his release.

Damien Colgan SC, defending, said Power came from a large family who moved to Dublin when he was 14 years old. He had been suffering with a serious drug problem but instructs he is now clean.

He said Power would like to attend residential treatment before he is released “back into reality.”

Mr Colgan said Power had completed a number of courses in custody and was an enhanced prisoner. He said Power was a spokesperson for the travelling community in the prison and helped settle in newcomers. He had also completed an overdose prevention program to be of assistance to others.

He asked the court to take into account the progress Power had made in his rehabilitation.

Garda Rebecca Deveney told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Mr Hanrahan, who had taken tablets and heroin, was sitting in a doorway in Cope Street when Power walked past, observed him, then doubled back and stabbed him four times in the back.

Shortly afterwards Mr Hanrahan was on Anglesey Street when Power ran up from behind, stabbed him and sliced his face. Mr Hanrahan gave chase to Power but lost him in Temple Bar and made a complaint to a garda he came across. The garda called an ambulance and he was taken to hospital.

Gardai recovered CCTV from the area, Power was nominated as a suspect and arrested.

During the trial the injured party gave a different account than he had given gardaí and his original statement was brought into evidence.

Mr Hanrahan was treated at St James Hospital and was found to have sustained a number of stab wounds including one to his spleen. He underwent surgery to have his spleen removed.

A medical witness gave an opinion during the trial that his injuries constituted potentially life threatening injuries as defined under the law.

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