Man gets nine years for bid to murder partner

Donna Foster leaving Dublin Central Criminal Court.

A 63-year-old man who tried to murder his partner by repeatedly stabbing her after she told him she no longer wanted to be with him and planned to leave, has been jailed for nine years.

Patrick O’Rourke, of Cooline Drive, Ballyvoloon, Cobh, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Donna Foster at Cooline Drive on August 11, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a minor at the same address on the same date.

Yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy imposed a nine-year sentence on O’Rourke and backdated it to when he went into custody on August 11, 2015. He also sentenced O’Rourke to three and a half years for the charge of assault causing harm on the minor, to run concurrently.

Mr Justice McCarthy said it was clear it was “an extremely serious attack” by O’Rourke on his former partner. The judge said there was no evidence of violence during their relationship but arguments arose as their relationship came to an end: “Ms Foster was entitled to bring that relationship to an end, and any possible adverse reaction by her partner must be regarded as beyond comprehension.”

Mr Justice McCarthy said Ms Foster suffered a number of serious wounds when the accused stabbed her with a boning knife and she was “obviously extremely fearful and distressed”.

The judge referred to Dr Emmet Andrew’s medical report where he outlined that Ms Foster had received “two particularly serious lacerations” and it was miraculous that she was not injured more severely: “The evidence is that Ms Foster has found it very difficult to return to work and she was self-employed. Undoubtedly apart from the financial difficulties which this has caused it has no doubt had an impact on her sense of well being.”

He referred to the minor who was in the house at the time: “It seems there was a laceration across the palm of her right hand when she was intervening to protect Ms Foster and also a superficial abrasion to her left palm. This is a significant injury which has left her with significant challenges and limited movement.”

Referring to Ms Foster’s victim impact statement, Mr Justice McCarthy said the ordeal has been emotionally draining and psychologically traumatic on her

The judge said it was still a mitigating factor O’Rourke pleaded guilty at the very end of the legal process.

He said he took O’Rourke’s previous good character, his age as well as behaving well in prison into account


Speaking outside the court, Ms Foster said she is pleased with the sentence and is happy it is over with. She also agreed she got justice: “I’m just happy it is all over and now myself and the girls can just draw a line under it and move on with our lives. I’m feeling OK. I had a make-up artistry business and that’s gone as I now can’t do the work I was doing with the injuries I have.”


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