Very “disturbing and graphic” images of a knife sticking out from the side of a man’s face, were shown to Limerick Circuit Court yesterday.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said the images were extremely shocking and appalling.
Graig McMahon, the man who plunged the knife into the victim’s face, was jailed for five years, with one year suspended, for violent disorder.
The victim, named as Mr X, had been involved in a violent row on a busy city centre street near Limerick railway station, when McMahon took the knife from his pocket and stuck it into Mr X’s face.
When gardaí and ambulance medics arrived on the scene, Mr X still had the knife lodged in his face.
It was later removed when he was taken to University Hospital Limerick.
McMahon, aged 25, originally from Prospect, Limerick and with an address at Drominbeg, Rhebogue, pleaded guilty at a previous sitting of the same court.
Judge Tom O’Donnell remarked: “They say the camera never lies. It is a frightening picture, it is absolutely and utterly frightening, very disturbing, graphic, and shocking.”
He said the scene must have been very frightening for people going about their business on a busy city street.
Judge O’Donnell said: “This kind of behaviour cannot be acceptable in a civilised society.”
Det Garda Brian O’Connor told the court a number of men had gathered near Fine Wines in Parnell St at around 6.30pm on March 16, 2014, when the street was busy and a violent row broke out.
Det Garda O’Connor said the fight started when Mr X, the man who was stabbed in the face, made a lunge at the accused.
As the row developed, a man named as Mr Y, who had bought alcohol at the off licence tried to swing a bag containing cans of beer at Mr X, using the bag like “a medieval mace” to attack the accused.
The accused then picked up a can of beer and threw it in the direction of Mr X.
McMahon then took a knife from the pocket of his jacket and stuck into Mr X’s cheek.
In a letter to the court, McMahon claimed that his mother had been told by gardaí that he was under threat and this was why he was carrying a knife.
Det Garda O’Connor said gardaí had no knowledge of any such message being conveyed to McMahon’s mother.
He said Mr X did not co-operate with the garda investigation and evidence was gathered from CCTV footage.
Defence counsel, Mark Nicholas said he had been shocked at seeing the photo just before the court.
Mr Nicholas said McMahon was studying anatomy and physiology in prison.
Mr X could not be named for legal reasons.
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