'I accidentally stabbed him' - Man tells court as horrific injuries shown after street row
These are the horrific injuries that a man suffered after being stabbed in the face during a row outside a city off-licence.
Craig McMahon (25) told Limerick Circuit Criminal that he felt his life was under threat at the time and "accidentally stabbed" the victim.
McMahon was in supported living with Focus Ireland on March 16, 2014 when he went to Fine Wines off-licence on Parnell Street in Limerick city to buy alcohol with a friend.
Encountering two other men outside, McMahon and his companion became involved in violent altercation.
Giving evidence, Detective Garda Brian O'Connor told the court yesterday that while all parties were known to each other, relations wouldn't have been "the best".
One of the men tried to pull McMahon to the ground and hit the defendant with a bag of beer cans he had just bought inside.
The two parties separated briefly, but re-engaged again after beer cans were thrown and the fight kicked off again.
Craig McMahon then pulled a knife from inside his jacket and stabbed one of the men in the face as he emerged from the off-licence.
Judge Tom O'Donnell was shown pictures of the man and his injuries - and he described them as being "utterly shocking and frightening".
Craig McMahon, together with the three other men involved in the violent incident, were all arrested three weeks after the incident and charged with violent disorder.
The court was told, however, that the victim of the stabbing would not cooperate with the investigation nor would he make a complaint to gardai about the knife attack.
Accepting that the pictures were "not pretty", defence counsel Mark Nicholas said that his client was in fear of his life at the time and believed that he was under threat from serious criminals who wanted him dead.
However, Det Gda O'Connor said that there was no note of this with gardai and confirmed that no letter was sent to Craig McMahon from An Garda Siochana warning him of any serious threat, as they didn't believe there to be one.
Mr Nicholas told the court that since his arrest and detention in Castlerea Prison, Craig McMahon had engaged in certain activities in custody including embarking on a course on physiology and anatomy as well as an anger management course.
Addressing the court, McMahon said he "truly apologised" for his actions. His defence barrister handed in a hand-written letter from the 25-year-old outlining his remorse.
In it he said that he is in a relationship with "the light of his life" and has moved away from crime.
Judge O'Donnell said that he would adjourn the sentencing hearing to consider all that has been said, the letter and the evidence in the case. "The picture doesn't lie", he said, adding that it is "not the whole story".
McMahon was remanded in custody until January 18 next for sentence.