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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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Dublin man jailed for attempting to murder teen at Hell Fire Club

Michael Corbett was sentenced to nine years in prison but six of them were suspended.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Roy Murray

A 28-YEAR-old Dubliner has been jailed for three years for attempting to murder a teenager and assaulting his two friends as they camped at a popular hiking spot.

Michael Corbett was sentenced to nine years in prison for his crimes, but had six years suspended as he was suffered from paranoid schizophrenia at the time.

The father-of-one, with an address in Raheny, had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of the 17-year-old on June 27, 2016 at the Hell Fire Club on Dublin’s Montpelier Hill.

Justice Michael White had previously praised the young man’s two friends for coming to his aid only to be assaulted themselves. He yesterday praised Corbett’s first victim, who had received a four-inch stab wound to his chest during the attack.

The judge said he had shown ‘considerable courage’ on the day, when he was just short of his 18th birthday. His friends, a man and woman, were 18 and 19. They are not being named for legal reasons.

Justice White noted that all had suffered considerable stress, which he said was ongoing. He said that the first victim was ‘close to losing his life’.

“It’s luck more than anything else that dictated that he survived and recovered,” he said.

He noted medical reports, which showed that the accused was suffering from the severe mental disability, paranoid schizophrenia, at the time.

He had responsibility that was quite significantly diminished by his illness.

Corbett had severe difficulties historically, which had been severely exacerbated by his own behaviour, namely his abuse of alcohol and drugs, he said.

“That’s an aggravating factor,” he explained.

He said that it was appropriate to impose a substantial custodial sentence and suspend a substantial portion of it so that the accused could be supervised by probation services and be medically monitored.

“He’s now on a programme of medication which, if he continues on, will stabilise his psychosis,” he said.

He noted that the illness would manifest itself again if Corbett stopped taking his medication or returned to alcohol or drugs.

He imposed a sentence of nine years, with six years suspended on specific conditions to be finalised on receipt of a probation report on July 31st.

He remanded Corbett in custody until then.

‘It’s law, not justice’

The young man and woman, who were assaulted after the attempted murder of their friend, spoke outside of their disappointment at the suspension of six years of his sentence.

The young man described it as ridiculous.

“It’s law, not justice,” he said, but added that he trusted the judge’s opinion.

“I’m afraid of people, normal people,” he explained of the ongoing effects of the attack. “I shouldn’t have to worry that someone might just hit me out of nowhere, completely unprovoked… We shouldn’t have to be afraid. It shouldn’t be this way.”

The young woman said that they were angry at the suspension of six years and that it was really hard to come to court and see the man, who had attacked them.

“I can remember his eyes when he looked at me,” she said. “He’s looking at all of us the same way.”

“I thought we were dead,” she said, adding that she was thankful that it had happened during the day and not in the dark of night.

She explained that she used to be a leader, who could get up in front of people and speak.

“Now, I just feel that I’m fragile,” she said.

They both felt they were lucky to be alive and thanked their families for their support.

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Natasha Reid

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