Three years for man who stabbed victim on beach

A Balbriggan man who "acted excessively in self defence" by stabbing a man in the leg and breaking glass in his face on the beach has been given a three year sentence by Judge Martin.

A Balbriggan man who "acted excessively in self defence" by stabbing a man in the leg and breaking glass in his face on the beach has been given a three year sentence by Judge Martin.

Niall Murphy (21) told gardaí he was "out of his head" on drink and drugs when he assaulted the victim after being punched in the face by him during a fight at the beach.

Murphy, of Tara Court, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on July 17, 2006 at Balbriggan Beach.

Judge Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court imposed a sentence of three years imprisonment with the final two years suspended.

Garda David Lewis told Mr Damien Colgan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Colm Campbell had been swimming at 5am with friends at Balbriggan Beach when a group began to throw stones at them.

Mr Campbell left the water to remonstrate with them but was assaulted by three men and was then held back when he tried to go after them.

Gda Lewis said Mr Campbell then noticed Murphy standing nearby and thought he was "staring" at him. He "lost his temper" and struck him which lead to a struggle between them during which Murphy hit Mr Campbell in the face with a glass that shattered and then stabbed him in the thigh.

Mr Campbell was treated in hospital for extensive facial cuts and for the stab wound to his leg.

Gda Lewis said Murphy, who has two previous convictions, admitted the assault and apologised for his actions. He said he had been "out of his head" on drink and drugs on the night.

Ms Caroline Biggs BL, defending Murphy, said he had little recall of events but accepted he had gone too far. She said all parties had been drinking and Murphy "acted excessively in self defence."

Ms Biggs said Murphy had a history of psychiatric problems which were exacerbated by his use of alcohol and illicit drugs. The death of his father had a huge effect on him and he was taking steps to address his drug and alcohol problems.

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