A court in Cork heard that a 49-year-old man stabbed his own adult son eight times and could have killed him and the sentencing judge said it was a truly tragic case where the victim pleaded for his father not to be jailed.
“All he wants is not that his father is punished but that his father would straighten himself out with the drink.
“That is from his son – the son he stabbed and nearly killed – that you (the father) will sort yourself out from the drink,” Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The judge urged Leon Frahill of Loughmahon House, Tivoli, Cork, to remember his son’s wishes and not anything that he (the sentencing judge) had to say.
“This poor young fella does not want his father to go to jail. If I could accede to that I would. But I have to perform not a personal duty to Gino Frahill but a public duty.
“This addiction (by Leon Frahill) to drink is longstanding, fundamental to this man’s character and never attended to,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
The judge imposed a sentence of five years and suspended half of it.
Detective Garda Hugh Byrne said the injured party was staying at an apartment in Bandon with his brother. On the night of March 30, 2020, their father visited and was drinking in the apartment.
He left and was standing across the road at a bus stop. His son, Gino, was talking to him – and as Judge Ó Donnabháin remarked – “trying to get through to him.” Leon Frahill reacted by stabbing his son eight times.
His injuries required a blood transfusion. Prosecution barrister Brendan Kelly said that given the injuries he sustained he was fortunate to make a full recovery.
Defence barrister Patrick O’Riordan said the accused had abstained from alcohol since the assault over a year ago.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing serious harm to his son on Glasslynn Road, Bandon, contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “This is a truly sad, tragic case where a father pleads guilty to assault causing serious harm – he stabbed and could have killed his son.” The judge said he was not concerned about any aggravation that had occurred between the defendant and his other son before the assault, he was concerned about what happened after and about a 49-year-old being well drunk and in possession of a knife – “a lethal combination.”