Saturday 3 December 2016

Home 'covered in blood' after man (63) attempted to murder partner, court hears

Alison O’Riordan

Published 16/11/2016 | 15:18

Patrick O'Rourke pictured at Clonakilty Court. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts
Patrick O'Rourke pictured at Clonakilty Court. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

Gardai arrived to a Cork home that was "covered in blood" after a 63-year-old man tried to murder his partner by repeatedly stabbing her, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

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Taking the stand at the court today, Patrick O’Rourke apologised "sincerely and unconditionally" to his former partner Donna Foster for what he had done.

The court heard that as a result of the "horrific" attack, Ms Foster’s airways were exposed in her neck and she had injuries to her upper abdomen through which her small intestine was visible.

Ms Foster told gardai that O'Rourke “never stopped stabbing her” and felt that she was going to die, the court heard.

Today on the stand O'Rourke wished her "health, happiness and success in her life" and said that their years together were the "happiest" of his life.

Patrick O'Rourke of Cooline Drive, Ballyvoloon, Cobh, Co Cork was charged with attempting to murder Donna Foster at Cooline Drive on August 11, 2015.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court, O’Rourke pleaded not guilty to the charge and a jury was sworn in to hear his trial.

At 2pm today Mr Brendan Grehan SC asked for his client to be re-arraigned and arraigned on another count.

Mr Grehan also asked the court for an opportunity for his client to read a letter of apology to the court.

O’Rourke then pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Donna Foster in Cork last year.

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a minor at the same address on the same date.

Mr Justice McCarthy told the jury that as the accused had pleaded guilty, there was no need to hold a trial.

He thanked them for their patience and exempted them from jury service for a period of ten years.

O’Rourke was then remanded in custody ahead of his sentence hearing on November 25 when victim impact statements will be read to the court.

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