A man who lost two fingers when a pipe bomb exploded in his hand told gardai he had injured himself by “messing around with fireworks”, a court has heard.
Patrick Lynch (38) admitted trying to scare a man as part of a long running feud by throwing the explosive into the garden of the family home.
Lynch of Nutgrove Crescent, Rathfarnham pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the pipe bomb at St Louise’s Park, Blackrock on January 20, 2013.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a sentence of five years and suspended the final two and a half on condition he keeps the peace for that period.
Detective Sergeant Peter Woods told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that he arrested Lynch at Beaumont Hospital. Lynch had gone there for treatment after injuring himself with the home made bomb.
DNA from a mouth swab taken at the hospital was matched with blood found trailing from the scene of the explosion to where a car was parked.
The court heard that the attack was part of an on-going feud between two families.
Lynch told gardai at first that he injured his hand by messing around with fireworks. He claimed that a one foot long firework had gone off in his hand.
He later admitted he knew it was a bomb made from copper piping. He said he had wanted to frighten a man in the house by throwing it into the garden and that he didn't know there were very young children in the home.
CCTV footage showed that a person had stood on a wall behind the home and thrown a brick at the house before reaching down to grab the bomb which exploded immediately.
Lynch, who is a recovering drug addict, said: “I was off my head. The boys told me to light it and throw it away. It went off in my hand.”
The court heard Lynch has 110 previous convictions, including assault, burglary and larceny. The majority of his convictions are for road traffic offences.
Pieter LeVert BL, defending, said the feud evolved out of a minor incident in 2005 and flares up from time to time. He said his client is a father of five and grandfather.
He said Lynch is on the periphery of the feud and that other people more centrally involved took advantage of his drug addiction on the night.