77-year-old stabbed after asking woman to be girlfriend

A woman who stabbed her 77-year-old friend three times in the neck and chest after he allegedly asked her to be his girlfriend has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

Desmond Garland had been living a very independent life up until the night Linda Nugent, aged 43, attacked him.

He never returned to his home after the attack and died last December in a nursing home from an unrelated illness.

He had a heart attack immediately after the stabbing on the way to the hospital and further heart attacks when he underwent emergency surgery to close the stab wounds, one of which was to the bottom of his chin and went up into the floor of his mouth.

He spent 28 days in intensive care in Beaumont Hospital and a further six months on a ward before his family made the “hardest decision” to move him to a nursing home where he could get the 24-hour medical care he needed.

Mr Garland died last December from cancer.

The court heard he never fully recovered mentally from the assault and his quality of life was hugely affected.

Nugent, of Seagrange Ave, Baldoyle, Dublin, pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing Mr Garland serious harm at his home in Lismeen Grove, Beechpark Ave, Coolock, on September 14, 2013.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard she has a mild learning disability and needs to take vast amounts of medication to treat epilepsy.

She had two previous convictions for public order offences.

Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, said the DPP viewed the case at being at the higher end of the scale.

Judge Martin Nolan agreed to adjourn sentencing Nugent until March 12, next to allow her to receive medical treatment.

Mr Garland’s son, Martin, read from a victim impact statement in which he said his father was known in “his circle” as a gentleman.

He said he was an intelligent man who was known for “blasting out a Frank Sinatra number at the top of his voice” and he got on extremely well with people in his local community.

He described the assault as devastating to the family. “It was like something that only happens to other people.”

He said his father could not speak for almost two months which left him visibly frustrated.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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