Thursday 29 September 2016

Man who almost severed a man's arm with meat cleaver before committing burglary, driving wrong way down dual carriageway and crashing head on into another motorist loses appeal

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Published 19/01/2016 | 18:09

Patrick Healy
Patrick Healy

A repeat offender who almost severed a man's arm with a meat cleaver before committing burglary, driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway and crashing head on into another motorist, has lost an appeal against the severity of his 10 year jail term.

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Patrick Healy (31), of Buttercup Park, Darndale, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting a man causing him harm on the North Circular Road on April 22, 2011.

Healy had also pleaded guilty to burglary and theft at Upper Kilmacud Road, unlawfully taking a car and dangerous driving on the M50 on December 12, 2011.

On a third bill of indictment, Healy had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to a motorist on Oscar Traynor Road, Coolock, in Dublin, the unauthorised taking of a vehicle and driving while under the influence on May 21, 2013.

He had been on bail for the first and second offences when he commited the next in time.

Judge Pat McCartan jailed Healy for 15 years with the final five suspended in total – three years for the assault, four years consecutive on the second bill of indictment and eight years consecutive with the final five suspended for dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to a motorist.

Healy lost an appeal against the severity of his sentence today on grounds that the sentencing judge failed to take account of the totality principle.

Giving judgment in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said the offences were committed within a two year time period and could only be described as appalling, repeated and involving “enormous destruction”.

Severe injuries suffered by the victim's included one man's arm being almost severed by a meat clever, in the assault on the North Circular Road, and a very serious injury to a passenger in a car, the judge said.

The offences involved driving the wrong way on a dual carriageway, grossly excessive speed, engaging in highly dangerous manouveres and crashing head on into another motorist. It was surprising the incidents did not result in greater destruction, Mr Justice Mahon said.

Healy had 31 previous convictions including a conviction for dangerous driving causing death in September 2004, five for unlawfully taking vehicles, one for drink driving and another one for assault causing harm.

The clear picture presented was one of repeated serious offending, Mr Justice Mahon said, particularly in relation to the driving of motor vehicles.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, said the court was satisfied that there was no error in principle in the manner in which the sentencing judge structured the overall sentence.

Accordingly the appeal was dismissed.

During counsel's submissions, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said it was concerning that a man with Healy's history was allowed out on bail.

Due to the number of districts the offences were committed in, a single garda was unable to tell the court the full circumstances surrounding Healy's release on bail each time.

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