A three-year jail term was imposed yesterday on a man who fractured another man’s skull with a samurai sword.
Patrick O’Rourke went on a hunger strike earlier last year in prison while awaiting sentence.
Mahon Corkery, defending, had applied for a psychiatric report to be prepared on O’Rourke as he appeared to be unable to give any clear instructions. Mr Corkery said yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that he had now received lucid instructions and the accused was prepared to be sentenced.
Judge David Riordan noted from the evidence that O’Rourke appeared to live in an isolated way. The judge did not see any reason to suspend any portion of the sentence and noted that the accused had two previous assault convictions, one for common assault and one for assault causing harm.
Judge Riordan said it was a vicious assault on the victim, who required emergency surgery as a result of the attack.
A jury reached unanimous guilty verdicts in the case against the accused back in November 2014 on charges of producing a samurai sword and assault causing harm to another man at Tramore Road in Cork.
O’Rourke, whose address at the time was 3 The Cottages, Tramore Road, Cork, pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of assault causing harm to Trevor Morgan on June 11, 2012, at Tramore Road, Cork, and to a charge of producing a samurai sword during the alleged incident.
Judge Riordan remanded O’Rourke on bail for sentencing in November 2014. However, a warrant had to be issued for his arrest when he failed to appear.
He was arrested for sentencing earlier this year.
Mr Corkery said the accused had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication and had been referred to the National Forensic Psychiatric Services at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.
Injured party, Trevor Morgan, said during the trial that he worked in the Tramore Road area and that the defendant who lived by the entrance to the work place did have some dispute with him previously in relation to traffic at the gateway.
Trevor and Karen Morgan testified that when they first saw the accused that night he had something long in his left hand and he started verbally abusing them and walking towards them, They said O’Rourke slapped Mr Morgan in the face with his hand, Mr Morgan threw chips at him and O’Rourke brought down the samurai sword on Mr Morgan over his right eye causing a skull fracture.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved