Door used by victim for protection ‘shredded’

Such was the ferocity of a stabbing attack in a Limerick apartment, the intended victim received three wounds, one almost fatal, when knives “shredded” the door he was using as a shield to protect himself, a court heard.

Declan Lysaght, aged 26, of Russell House, Broad St, was yesterday jailed for three years at Limerick Circuit Court for assault causing harm to Damien Keane with a knife.

He was found guilty by a jury at the same court last December.

During a three-day trial, the door in Mr Keane’s apartment, with numerous gaping holes, was brought into the courtroom and shown to the jury.

Passing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said an aggravating factor was the ferocity of the attack.

“This was borne out by the shredded condition of the door which Mr Keane used to protect himself,” said the judge. “Mr Keane suffered three stab wounds, one to the kidney and was very lucky the consequences were not more serious or fatal.”

In his evidence, Mr Keane recalled that during the attack on Dec 13, 2010, he ran into a bedroom in his apartment and shut the door but could not lock it.

As he pressed his back against the door to prevent Lysaght and the other attacker from getting at him, the two assailants started attacking the door with knives.

The knives penetrated the door and Mr Keane, who was wedged against it, received three wounds — one of which lacerated his kidney

“He kept stabbing the knife through the door and I could feel the knife stabbing me in the back,” Mr Keane said.

Det Garda Ivan Muldoon told yesterday’s sentencing hearing that all the parties involved lived in the same building and difficulties had arisen between them.

On the night of the attack, Mr Keane had been out drinking, but was not drunk when he got back to his apartment.

Det Garda Muldoon said the wounds could have had catastrophic consequences for Mr Keane, who had also received defensive hand wounds.

Another accused, also involved in the attack, has already been sentenced.

Both defendants had previous convictions.

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