A DUBLIN man has been jailed for three years for stabbing his brother-in-law in the stomach while he was stopped in traffic with his family.
Garda Gary Moran told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that the victim was driving his 13-year-old son from their home in Ballyshannon, Donegal to the National Stadium in Dublin for a boxing match on the day of the attack.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that his wife and six-month-old son were also in the car at the time.
Gda Moran told the court that the family were stopped in traffic at Mountjoy Street when they noticed a man in a grey jumper running towards their vehicle.
Mr Ward tried to lock his door but was too slow, and the man leaned into the car and stabbed him in the stomach, near his bellybutton.
Mr Ward recognised his attacker as McDonagh and tried to punch and kick him to get him away from the car. The victim said McDonagh came at him about eight times during the attack, and tried to stab him in the face before fleeing to a nearby car driven by a woman.
Gda Moran said McDonagh was heard shouting “I’m going to get you too” at Mr Ward’s 13-year-old son as he ran away. The court heard that the two men had an old feud but Mr Ward thought this was finished with and assumed he was on good terms with his brother-in-law.
Mr Ward spent five days in hospital, received between 16 and 18 stitches and is left with a 12 inch scar as a result of the attack. McDonagh was arrested on April 2 last year and pleaded guilty to the assault in November.
Anita Kilgallon BL, defending, apologised to Mr Ward on behalf of her client and said he was extremely remorseful about the incident. Gda Moran agreed with Ms Kilgallon that McDonagh has a long history of drink and drug related problems.
Ms Kilgallon pointed out that her client was seeking help to battle his addiction problems, and has been attending a community drugs programme since November.
She told the court that McDonagh also cared for his ill mother, to which Judge Desmond Hogan replied: “He has 15 in his family and I’m supposed to accept that he’s the only one caring for her?”
Judge Hogan described the “sustained attack” as an “extremely serious offence” and said it was on the “upper-end of the scale.”
“A man, driving in broad daylight with his children, stabbed,” he said. He took note that the victim had been “taken by surprise” and was “disadvantaged” due to his seat belt and being in the vehicle with his family.
He added: “The court must take a serious view of this type of carry on, on the streets of Dublin in broad daylight.” Judge Hogan noted McDonagh’s guilty plea and his 23 previous convictions, before sentencing him to four years with the final 12 months suspended.