Sentencing adjourned for burglar who cut off artist's fingers

A burglar who cut a number of fingers from an artist’s hand and used knives on her “like a butcher” during a break-in has had his sentencing adjourned at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A burglar who cut a number of fingers from an artist’s hand and used knives on her “like a butcher” during a break-in has had his sentencing adjourned at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Tony Hunt had adjourned the case to today for sentence after hearing evidence and a victim impact statement last March

James Kenny (aged 35) pushed his way into the apartment wearing a balaclava and took a number of items before binding and gagging the woman and later attacking her. He told gardaí he had no reason to attack the woman, had a problem with painkillers and had just wanted to get money.

The woman described Kenny as using the knives on her “like a butcher”. She said she was sliding around in blood and felt her only option at one point was to play dead. She lost consciousness and when she awoke made her way to a local hotel where she collapsed and staff called an ambulance.

The victim needed to be resuscitated on her arrival to hospital and had suffered three deep facial lacerations as well as life threatening wounds. She had stab wounds to her neck, abdomen and chest.

Her ring and little finger had been amputated at joints and her middle and index finger partially amputated. Doctors were able to successfully reattach her middle finger but she lost the other finger portions. Her facial scars are also still visible.

Kenny of Eden Block, Prospect Hill, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with a knife and machete at another block of the Prospect Hill complex and to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the woman on September 2, 2009.

Defence counsel, Mr Breffni Gordon BL, today asked for the case to be adjourned for a variety of reasons.

He said Kenny had been undertaking educational courses in Cloverhill Prison and asked for him be allowed to complete these. He said he also wished to go through a report compiled by a consultant forensic psychologist with his client in detail.

Mr Gordon said the defence had also sought a drugs counsellor’s report so the court would have a complete picture. He handed a number of additional reports into court.

Judge Hunt adjourned the case for mention at the end of July and said the case would be finalised before the end of the year.

The woman is an artist but is now unable to hold a pen. She had an exhibition of her work in St Stephens Green in 2006 to some acclaim and had illustrated a children’s book. She had been planning to illustrate a further book before the attack. She has never returned to the apartment.

Kenny has a number of previous convictions for theft and a conviction from 1998 for a serious assault. In that incident he had broken into the home of a 58-year old man with whom he had an issue, tied him up and when the man tried to escape he stabbed him a number of times.

When the man escaped over a balcony he turned his attention to the man’s partner and stabbed her 10 times. He received a four-year sentence for that offence.

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