‘Much-loved’ grandfather has jail term cut on appeal

A “much-loved grandfather”, who lost control and stabbed his daughter’s partner when he heard him abuse her over the phone, has had his jail term cut on appeal.

Brian Hynes, 64, of Carbury, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Naas Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at the home of his daughter and her partner on tenced to four years’ imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Michael O’Shea on June 21, 2012. Hynes was granted bail pending his appeal which resulted in a new sentence of four years’ imprisonment with the final two-and-a-half years suspended yesterday — reducing his jail term by one year.

Giving judgement in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice John Edwards said Hynes’ daughter had been in a 20-year-long “difficult relationship” with the injured party and they had two young children together — Hynes’ grandchildren.

The prosecution’s case was that Hynes was at home when his daughter, who was visiting, received an audibly “abusive and implicitly threatening” phonecall from her partner “railing about why she was not yet home”, Judge Edwards said.

Hynes, who had been drinking, armed himself with “a bayonet-type knife” and walked over to his daughter and her partner’s home. He “immediately attacked the injured party in a frenzy” inflicting six stab wounds to the leg. Hynes told gardaí he brought the knife “probably to protect myself and just to frighten him. I had no intention of doing harm to him. It was just scare tactics, but I can’t recall even being there”.

The prosecuting garda told the sentencing court that Hynes was a “good, hardworking man”, that there had been a significant history of domestic violence in his daughter’s relationship and, as a result, Hynes and his wife were “often left to pick up the pieces — minding their grandchildren”.

The sentencing court heard that Hynes had re- monstrated with the injured party on previous occasions in relation to the treatment of his daughter and had never reacted with violence. The difficulties experienced by his daughter had led to him developing a difficulty with alcohol and the abusive phone call was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Hynes had no previous convictions; had never come to adverse Garda attention; and was normally inclined to repress his anger, the Court of Appeal ruling said. Also in mitigation was his guilty plea; his cooperation with gardaí; his genuine remorse; as well as the fact that he was a good family man and a “much-loved grandfather”. 

Mr Justice Edwards said the evidence strongly indicated a loss of self-control that accompanies genuine provocation rather than any self-indulgent outburst of extreme rage. It was clear what occurred was “utterly out of character”.

Hynes was required to enter into a good behaviour bond of €500 for the suspended period.


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