A man who repeatedly stabbed his mother during a vicious attack told gardaí that he just snapped after she told him to “f**k off”, a court has heard.
David Murphy (aged 24) initially had trouble remembering the attack, and told investigators: “I just snapped, the next thing I remember is a knife in my hand covered in blood and I just ran”.
He also attacked his brother who found him attacking their mother in the kitchen of the family home.
Murphy of Coultry Place, Ballymun, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of assault causing harm to Angela Murdock and Andrew Murphy at Coultry Place on December 12, 2013.
Murphy stabbed his mother in the neck and arms with a bread knife. He then stabbed his brother five times until the knife handle broke, leaving the blade in his brother's arm.
Judge Martin Nolan said that there was a long standing bad relationship between Murphy and his mother and siblings. He said he attacked her viciously in what was a terrifically frightening situation for her.
The judge suspended the last 18 months of a four-year prison sentence on condition that he keeps the peace and obeys the instructions of the Probation Services for a year after his release.
He backdated the sentence to December 2013, when Murphy went into custody.
The court heard that Murphy had moved back into the family home after a relationship with the mother of his children broke up.
He was speaking to his mother in the kitchen and she told him to f**k off. She told gardaí later that anytime he spoke to her they ended up having a row.
He stabbed her in the neck and she fell on to the floor. He sat on her with his legs on both sides of her body and stabbed her in the arms three times. He was roaring and shouting “I hate you b**ch” and she was petrified, Detective Garda Adrian Mulligan told Gareth Conlon BL, prosecuting.
Murphy's brother came into the kitchen and saw his mother bleeding from the mouth. He tried to calm the situation down and asked his brother to stop the attack.
After the knife handle broke, Murphy went to the kitchen sink to find another knife and the two victims left the house at speed and went to a neighbour’s house for help.
Two days later Murphy handed himself in to gardaí and asked if his mother was alright.
He told them he felt he was always the black sheep in the family and never got on with his mother.
The father-of-three said he felt terrible about attacking his brother, who was the sibling he got on with.
He said he felt anger and hatred towards his mother but that he didn't want to kill her.
He couldn't remember stabbing either of the victims and was horrified when gardaí showed him the blade which had been surgically removed from his brother's arm.
Both victims received stitches and said they have suffered nightmares of the attack. Angela Murdock said she hated her son for what he had done.
Michael Bowman SC, defending, said that the attack was a couple of moments of craziness which have destroyed Murphy’s relationship with his family.
He said there was a difficult personal and family relationship between his client and his other siblings and mother.
Murphy lacked the ability to communicate his feelings about these difficulties and they erupted in this attack, counsel said.
Mr Bowman said that, as a young man, his client was exposed to domestic violence in the home.
Counsel said that he has completed courses in personal development while in custody and asked that he would be supervised by the Probation Services to ensure he has an outlet to communicate his emotional difficulties