Man gets five years for serious knife assault

A young Dublin man who left a knife embedded in another youth’s back has received a five year sentence with one suspended.

Derek Devoy (aged 21) later told gardaí he thought a group of youths with whom he’d been fighting at an earlier Hallowe’en bonfire were attacking his father so he ran into his kitchen, got a knife and stabbed Mr Christopher Reid (aged 26) in the back.

Detective Garda Patrick Traynor revealed that Devoy and other onlookers were afraid to remove the knife at the scene for fear Mr Reid would bleed to death.

Det Gda Traynor told Mr Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that the injured man underwent surgery that night to remove the knife, which had ruptured a lung and lodged in a heart valve.

Devoy, a father-of-two of Palmerstown Square, Palmerstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Reid causing him serious harm outside his former home at Whitestown Avenue, Blanchardstown in the early hours of November 1, 2008.

He has three previous convictions for minor non-violent offences.

Det Gda Traynor said Devoy and Mr Reid’s friend began disputing at a Hallowe’en bonfire in their area and continued the hostilities up the road towards their respective homes.

Mr Reid’s friend ran into Devoy’s front garden after Devoy had smashed his car windows with a bat and the two men began fighting.

Mr Reid and another friend joined in the fight which by then involved Devoy’s parents.

Det Gda Traynor said Devoy ran into his house, came back with a knife and plunged it into Mr Reid’s back.

The detective garda told Mr Heneghan that Devoy fully admitted the stabbing when gardaí later interviewed him at the scene and said he’d thought the injured man had glassed his father with a bottle.

Det Gda Traynor agreed with Mr Diarmuid McGuinness SC, defending, that his client was “hysterical” after the incident and was pacing his kitchen when gardaí arrived.

He agreed Devoy couldn’t believe what he had done, that he later pleaded guilty to the offence though he knew Mr Reid was in Australia and wouldn’t have returned for a trial and that he was an “impressionable and vulnerable young man.”

Mr McGuinness asked Judge Katherine Delahunt to take into consideration his client’s remorse and the fact he’d spent his 21st birthday in prison by volunteering to go into custody.

Judge Delahunt said she acknowledged Devoy’s “fulsome” admissions to gardai and his previous non-violent history.

She said Mr Reid’s victim impact statement indicated he lost €17,000 through medical bills, that he has a 12" scar along his back and that he still suffers psychological trauma from the stabbing.

She said though she accepted Devoy hadn’t intended to inflict the “catastrophic injuries” the fact he left the scene of a dispute and returned with a knife meant there was some element of premeditation.

She told Devoy he was the “author of your own downfall” but suspended the final year of his sentence.


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