Brian Keane, of no fixed abode, had admitted assault causing harm to Kamil Fital, aged 47, at Woodbrook Lawn, and with the same offence in connection with Hubert Fital then aged 17 , on November 11, 2014.
At about 5.25am, the Fital family, comprising four children and their parents, were asleep in their home at Monavalley. The mother woken by a noise became aware someone was rifling trough the glove compartment of the family car.
She woke two teenage sons and her husband. One son, Hubert, and her husband decided to tackle him and chase him away, Detective Garda Ernie Henderson agreed with Tom Rice at sentencing at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee.
However, Keane produced a knife and stabbed the teenager in the forehead and when the father went to save his son, he was knocked down and stabbed in the chest and repeatedly in both legs. The father suffered eight stab wounds in total.
Another son, Robert, arrived with an iron bar and managed to save his father.
Hubert received a number of stitches in hospital. Kamil suffered a severed artery and had to be transferred to Cork from Kerry General Hospital. He suffered potential loss of life and major trauma to his chest.
He lost consciousness and when he woke “the people around me were talking Polish, English, and Russian”, Mr Fital said in a victim impact statement read to the court by Det Gda Henderson.
He no longer works as a painter. His day begins with painkillers and a year later he suffered a heart attack.
“I am feeling useless to my family now and I feel dependant on them,” he said.
Keane was arrested after the incident, identified by the fact he spoke Russian. He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm last year. The court heard he was now 24. He was adopted by a Tralee couple from a Russian orphanage at the age of eight or nine and after growing up in Tralee, went to the Midlands, where he was involved in arson and burglary, and was jailed for four years in 2010.
Anthony Sammon, defending, said his client had had addiction problems but was a model prisoner: “This young man who has an appalling record is a model prisoner —he has spent all his adult life in prison.”
He said Keane was trying to change his life, was in counselling and a Samaritans group in prison, and was sorry for what he had done to the family. He would accept any sentence handed down, counsel said.
Judge Thomas E O’Donnell said the impact on the victim and his family would not be lost sight of. He has asked the advice of the probation service and adjourned sentence, remanding Keane in continuing custody.