Monday 1 May 2017

Man jailed for attacking neighbour with knife

Stock picture
Stock picture

Conor Gallagher

A man has been jailed for attacking a neighbour with a knife a year after the victim's mother was shot dead in their home by a another neighbour in an unrelated incident.

Derek Corr (31) lunged at Gary Dargan with a knife in June 2015 after saying he was looking for Mr Dargan's sister. Corr threw the knife away and fled after Mr Dargan asked him what he was doing.

In March of the previous year James Redmond had entered the Dargan home where he shot dead Mr Dargan's mother Mary and seriously wounded his sister Karina.

A trial at the Central Criminal Court heard Mr Dargan was in the living room at the time watching television. He managed to disarm Redmond and hold him until gardaí arrived. Redmond, who had lived peacefully beside the Dargan's for years before the killing, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and remanded to the Central Mental Hospital

On Thursday, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on June 4, 2015, Mr Dargan was again in his living room watching television. At about 1pm he saw a man outside the window and realised it was Corr who lived in the same estate as him.

Corr stuck his head and upper body through an open window and Mr Dargan thought he was trying to get in. Corr looked confused and said he was looking for someone.

Mr Dargan went outside to confront Corr and Corr told him he was looking for his sister. At this point Mr Dargan noticed a large kitchen knife in the accused's hand.

Prosecuting counsel John Fitzgerald BL told the court that Corr said to the victim “you think you're great with your boxing and your kickboxing.”

Corr then lunged at Mr Dargan with the knife but didn't make contact. He told the victim “I'm going to kill you, I'm going to stab you, I'm going to shoot you”.

Mr Dargan ran between two cars and asked Corr, who he had known for most of his life, what he was doing. Corr then threw the knife over his shoulder and ran away.

Gardaí arrived a short time later and were speaking to the Dargans about the incident when they saw Corr sitting outside in a car. Gardaí arrested him and found him in possession of several more knives.

No motive was given in court for the incident. Judge Pauline Codd called it a “moment of madness”. Mr Dargan declined to make a victim impact statement.

Corr of Tynan Hall Park, Tallaght later pleaded guilty to possession of a knife at Kilinarden Estate, Tallaght.

He has 47 previous convictions which are mostly for road traffic offences. He has one conviction for grievous bodily harm in Germany and one for presenting false information to obtain a passport.

Defence counsel Michael Hourican BL said Corr was extremely remorseful and was under the influence of drugs at the time. He said the father of one bears no ill-will towards the family.

Judge Codd said it was an “unusual offence” which was at “the lower end of the higher scale”.

She imposed a three year sentence and suspended the final two years after taking into account the mitigating factors such as Corr's guilty plea. Judge Codd also commended Mr Dargan for his “fortitude”.

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