A convicted murderer and a Louth man have been sentenced for stabbing two friends after a dispute over a disturbance from a house party.
Gary Howard (aged 25) is currently serving two life sentences for murder and an 18-month sentence for threatening to kill a barrister in the middle of a bail application in Dublin’s Four Courts.
His co-accused Glen Douche (25) is currently serving a sentence for transporting explosives and is due for release in May 2015. His brother, Gary, was murdered by another inmate while serving a prison sentence.
The victims of the stabbing, Anthony Byrne and Conor Lunders, were left with multiple stab wounds after Douche brought two knives from his girlfriend’s house to the house party and Howard attacked them.
Mr Lunders required stitches to multiple stab wounds which he received to his scalp, right lower chest, to his back near his spine and to his wrist.
Mr Byrne also had numerous stab wounds to his shoulder and back that required stitches. He also needed treatment to an injury to his ankle after Douche clipped his leg after driving a car at him.
Howard of Emerald Street, Seville Place, and Dunsoghly Grove, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to both Mr Lunders and Mr Byrne and to production of a knife during a dispute at Primrose Grove, Darndale, on July 11, 2009.
His 43 previous convictions including the murder and threats to kill offences also included assault, road traffic, arson and hi-jacking charges.
Judge Martin Nolan jailed Howard for five years concurrent to the term he is currently serving after being informed by his counsel Sean Gillane SC, that the law prevents him from imposing a consecutive term to a life sentence.
Douche of Oakwood Green, Termonabbey, Drogheda, also pleaded guilty to assaulting the two men causing them harm and reckless endangerment to Mr Byrne at the same place and on the same date.
Anne Marie Lawlor BL, prosecuting told Judge Nolan that the State accepted his pleas on the basis of joint enterprise with Howard after he admitted bringing the knives to the scene.
Douche was on bail at the time of the assault for an offence of possession of explosives, for which he received a nine-and-half-year sentence with two years suspended in June 2010.
He has 108 other convictions which were mostly for road traffic, public order and drug cases.
Judge Nolan imposed a consecutive three year term to this sentence which means Douche’s new release date is May 2018.
Garda Brendan Fitzpatrick told Ms Lawlor that Douche and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Chaney, had called to Mr Byrne’s home after Ms Chaney’s mother, who lived nearby, complained about the level of noise coming from the party.
The court heard that Mr Byrne hit Ms Chaney with a brush which angered Douche and led him to returning to his girlfriend’s mother’s home to get the knives.
He then arrived back at the party driving his silver Volkswagen Bora and drove it in the direction of one of the partygoers.
Mr Byrne grabbed this person out of the way and Douche then drove the car at him clipping his leg leaving him with an injury.
Gda Fitzpatrick said that gardaí received complaints about the melee at the party and were told; “people are killing each other”.
When he arrived on the scene he spotted Douche driving the Bora at speed out of the cul-de-sac.
Howard was a back seat passenger and gardaí discovered two knives in the glove compartment which were dripping with fresh blood.
Mr Lunders’ DNA was later found on one of the knives while Douche’s DNA was found on both knives.
Gda Fitzpatrick said that a third knife was found in Ms Chaney’s home. This was also blood stained and Mr Byrne’s DNA was later found on it.