A psychiatric nurse who stabbed a man with a bread knife during a drunken rage at an apartment in Limerick has been jailed for two years.
Limerick Circuit Court heard that John Michael Barrett, aged 49, originally from Liverpool, as well as pleading guilty to the attack also admitted to an arson attack on the same occasion.
He was drinking with a neighbour, Patrick O’Dea, on March 31, 2012, in Mr O’Dea’s apartment in Cathedral Place in the city.
However, a dispute arose that sparked a physical brawl between the two.
Barrett left and went to his own apartment where he got a 9-inch serrated bread knife from the kitchen. He set his Liverpool FC scarf alight at Mr O’Dea’s apartment door in an attempt to flush Mr O’Dea out.
When the door opened, another row developed and Barrett stabbed Mr O’Dea twice, once in the chest. He returned to his apartment, where he said he waited for the gardaí to come.
Barrett was arrested and made admissions to gardaí.
John O’Sullivan, for the State, told the court Barrett had proved to be very helpful to gardaí. He has since been remanded in custody, having failed to turn up for one court remand.
Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said the arson case was very serious, one which was made even more serious when the defendant went to his home and got a bread knife to stab the other man.
The court heard that the victim recovered from his injuries.
Judge Moran said: “Mr Barrett could have ended up in a much higher court and Mr O’Dea’s injuries could have been much more serious, even fatal.”
Judge Moran said the defendant had pleaded guilty at an early stage, had no relevant previous convictions, and had shown a great deal of remorse. Barrett was sentenced to four years in prison. Judge Moran suspended the final half of this, taking into account that Barrett’s “temper was just out of control”.
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