Court hears hallucination may have sparked knife attack in Dublin

A man broke into a home and held a knife to the 65-year-old occupant’s throat because he mistakenly thought someone had “given him the finger” from the window, a court has heard.

James McGuire (aged 27) had been mixing alcohol and prescription medication when he believed he saw someone in an upstairs window making a rude gesture to him.

He later told gardaí he was in a feud with a young man who lived there. The court heard that this “feud” stems from an incident when McGuire was eleven years old and that he had not spoken to the other young man for several years before the attack.

McGuire will be sentenced next January after Judge Patricia Ryan put the matter back for the preparation of a probation report.

McGuire of Mobhi Road, Glasnevin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Claremont Court, Glasnevin on October 26, 2012.

Garda Andrew Lake told prosecuting counsel John Fitzgerald BL that Kevin Tormey was alone in the house and was in bed when he heard loud noises coming from downstairs. He picked up a brush and went downstairs where he met McGuire.

McGuire was carrying three kitchen knives and demanded to know where Mr Tormey’s son, Stuart, was.

Kevin Tormey responded that there was no one else in the house before trying to flee.

He got outside before McGuire stopped him and struggled with him. He punched and kicked Mr Tormey and held the knife to his throat before saying he was going to kill him.

The victim felt blood running down from his neck. A passer-by and a neighbour called gardaí who arrived minutes later. By this time Mr Tormey had managed to escape and run across the road.

McGuire fled when he saw gardaí but was caught nearby and arrested.

In an interview he claimed he was in a dispute with Stuart Tormey over money but Gda Lake said this was not true. The garda said the last dispute between the two happened when McGuire was eleven years old.

McGuire also claimed that when he was walking past he saw someone “give him the finger” from an upstairs window but conceded this could have been a hallucination brought on by alcohol and drugs.

Gda Lake said Mr Tormey suffered cuts and scrapes to his face and neck. He is now afraid to be in his home in case McGuire returns.

Defence counsel Luigi Rea BL said his client is very remorseful and has never been in serious trouble before.

Counsel said McGuire no longer abuses alcohol or drugs and is now trying to get training and work.

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