Offaly Man Sentenced After Stabbing Man In Neck

Written 9 months ago by Newsroom

There is an urgent need for a state compensation fund for victims of crime, a judge said today (Thursday, December 6).

Judge Keenan Johnson was speaking as he sentenced an Offaly man to four-and-a-half-years in prison for stabbing another man in the neck.

Judge Johnson told Tullamore Circuit Court, sitting in Portlaoise, that defendant Barry Hehir, a 22-year-old from Birr, did not have the means to compensate his victim, Darragh Daly

Hehir was given a suspended sentence of a further two-and-a-half years and was ordered to deal with anger management and addiction issues while on probation for 18 months after his release.

Hehir, a father of an eight-month-old daughter, had pleaded guilty to assaulting Daly, causing him serious harm, at McAuley Drive, Birr on January 15 last year.

The accused, with an address at Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly had also admitted producing a knife and the court heard its handle had broken off during what Judge Johnson described as a frenzied attack.

There had been an altercation earlier in the night at O’Connell Street, Birr between the accused and a brother of the victim, Brendan Daly.

Later, there was an altercation between Darragh Daly and Hehir, during which the victim lashed out at the accused.

Hehir then rushed into his house at 25 McAuley Drive past his mother and into the kitchen from where he took a carving knife.

Daly’s neck and leg were wounded in the brief attack and he needed emergency surgery for life threatening injuries at Tullamore Hospital.

While his vocal cords and swallow have recovered since, the victim suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and had to give up his employment.

The maximum sentence for the offence was life and the DPP had issued a guideline sentence of between seven-and-a-half and 12 years.

Judge Johnson took into account mitigating factors including an early plea, a letter of apology, and trauma suffered in his teenage years when Hehir discovered the body of a man in a river near where he lived, and a year later, when he found his best friend hanging in a house.

The sentence was back dated to March 20 last when the accused first went into custody.