A man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, with the final three years suspended, after he left an acquaintance with life threatening injuries after stabbing him with a large kitchen knife.
Stephen O’Reilly (aged 27), who previously attacked another man leaving him paralysed, stabbed Stephen O’Brien six times and twice penetrated his chest cavity. He caused the victim’s lung to collapse requiring emergency surgery to reflate it. Mr O’Brien remained in hospital for almost a week.
Judge Patrick McCartan said the attack on Mr O'Brien was "very clearly planned and premeditated as robbery was his intent initially."
He said O'Reilly was friendly with Mr O'Brien and knew when money was to be deposited into the victim's bank account. "He forced his way into the apartment and set about a frenzied attack using a large kitchen knife."
"This was undoubtedly fuelled by alcohol and drug consumption and the plan to rob Mr O'Brien's bank card seemed to be hatched at another person's house" added Judge McCartan.
O’Reilly of Church Street, Finglas, was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury earlier this month following a four day trial.
He had pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm and production of a knife on August 18, 2011 at Mr O’Brien’s home in Artane. He had also denied a charge of robbery and was not convicted on this count.
O’Reilly has 45 previous convictions including a six year jail term imposed in October 2007 for stabbing a man and leaving him permanently paralysed.
The court heard that the victim has a serious psychiatric condition and has been on medication for it.
Garda Gerard Mullarkey told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that it was part of Mr O’Brien’s weekly routine to withdraw his social welfare from his account when it went every Tuesday at midnight.
Mr O’Brien was about to leave his home, a self contained flat at the back of his parents’ home, to go to the ATM when his friend called to the door along with O’Reilly.
O’Reilly then ran in and stabbed Mr O’Brien a number of times with a large kitchen knife, leaving the victim bleeding heavily.
Mr O’Brien sought the help of his neighbours, as his parents were on holidays, and he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Gda Mullarkey said a large knife was located in a plants near Mr O’Brien’s home and traces of his blood were found on it.
O’Reilly’s was arrested at his home. He made no admissions during interview and denied that he even knew the victim. A subsequent analysis of his phone showed that he had Mr O’Brien’s number saved in his phonebook.
A victim impact report stated that Mr O’Brien suffers sleepless nights, nightmares and panic attacks since the assault and has had to have his medication increased.
The victim moved out of his home to live in a hostel for a short time because he was concerned for his parents but later returned to his home.
Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, told Judge McCartan that his client, who is the father of a seven-year-old boy, also has a psychiatric condition and handed in a report from his doctor.
He said O’Reilly has gone through periods of refusing to accept he is unwell and not taking his medication but is now making progress and is complying with the psychiatric services while in custody.