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Man who stabbed stranger in the head and 'destroyed his life' jailed for 7.5 years

The judge highlighted that offences involving the use of knives need to be discouraged.

Image: PA

A 29-YEAR-old man who stabbed a stranger in the head and “destroyed his life” by leaving him with a significant brain injury and a lifelong disability, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Passing sentence at the Central Criminal Court today, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that it was a “shocking and horrific act”, which had devastating consequences for the victim Eoin Casey and left him with an “appalling life-threatening injury”.

“His recovery is arduous and requires an enormous amount of resilience. It is a daily struggle and his enjoyment of life has been compromised,” he added.

The judge highlighted that offences involving the use of knives need to be discouraged.

Referring to the defendant Thomas Power, Mr Justice McDermott noted that he had destroyed Mr Casey’s life and undermined his normal enjoyment of things.

The court heard during Power’s sentence hearing last week that the knife penetrated victim Mr Casey’s skull, leaving the tip of the weapon inside.

In a letter of apology to the victim, Power said he did not expect his apology to be accepted by Mr Casey but said what he had done was “utterly inexcusable”.

Power of Alderwood Avenue, Caherdavin in Limerick pleaded guilty last November to assaulting Mr Casey (25), causing him serious harm in the early hours of August 20, 2018 at Woodbine Avenue in Caherdavin.

Power had also pleaded guilty to assaulting Aaron Grant, causing him harm, on the same occasion.

The court has heard that the two groups of men had been out celebrating separately that day after Limerick’s victory in the 2018 All-Ireland hurling final. Both groups encountered each other through a “chance meeting” in the Caherdavin area of Limerick city as they made their way home for the night and there was “no history between them”.

Power “received a blow” from Mr Casey, which was not of a significant nature but caused him to stumble. The defendant then left to retrieve a knife from his girlfriend’s house, which was less than 200 metres away, before returning to Woodbine Avenue to attack the two men.

Mr Casey had to spend five months in a rehabilitation centre in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin and has been receiving “ongoing” medical treatment. His communication skills are “very problematic”, he has dyspraxia of speech and his reading and writing skills are also affected. Responsibility for his care is now shared between his parents and brother.

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Referring to the emotional victim impact statement given by the brother of Mr Casey, Martin Casey, Mr Justice McDermott said he had “eloquently and movingly” described his brother’s suffering.

“He states the accused took away his brother’s ability to work and stole his sense of purpose in life,” he remarked.

Martin Casey said in his victim impact statement that he will never be able to erase the image of his brother from his mind and he never knew a human’s head could swell so much and be so disfigured. “We know a part of him died that night and it would never be like it used to be. He will never tie his own laces again or text a girl, never be able to remember his mobile number, simple everyday things we think nothing of. Eoin needs help with simple, everyday things now,” he said.

Power has six previous convictions, which are mainly public order matters and he has one minor conviction for possession of cannabis.

Power was sentenced to nine years in prison with the last 18 months suspended for assault causing serious harm and two years for assault causing harm. The man’s sentences are to run concurrently and were backdated to January 20, 2021.

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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