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Sunday 31 August 2014

Mother stabbed her friend 22 times with a home-made 'shiv'

Published 26/11/2013 | 22:20

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Charlene Sherlock at Ennis Court.

A MOTHER stabbed her friend 22 times with a homemade "shiv" in a vicious and horrific attack in a school playground.

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Charlene Sherlock (23), the mother of a nine-month-old baby girl, assaulted Nicole Keane (22) after accusing the victim of cheating on her boyfriend, who is also Ms Sherlock's brother.

Using what a senior garda described as a "shiv", Sherlock slashed and stabbed Ms Keane in the face, neck and torso in a drunken attack in a playground area of the Holy Family primary school on Station Road, Ennis, on April 13, 2013.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Sherlock wept as she looked at shocking CCTV showing her repeatedly bringing the shiv down on Ms Keane's prostrate body.

During the incident, Sherlock made a phone call to her father to tell him "the young one is dead, the young one is dead. She has been stabbed".

Detective Inspector John Galvin told the court that Sherlock attacked Ms Keane because she believed the victim was being unfaithful to Sherlock's brother, Brendan Sherlock (20), with an address at Dromard, Ennis, who was in prison at the time.

Det Insp Galvin said Sherlock and Ms Keane, who were friends, arranged to meet in town on the day of the assault. He said the pair drank vodka while Sherlock also took two tablets.

CONFRONTED

A 16-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome witnessed the assault after hearing screams from an alleyway adjoining the Holy Family. He said he saw Sherlock stabbing and slashing the victim with a knife held in her right hand.

He told gardai Sherlock repeatedly shouted "Were you messing with my brother?" as she stabbed Ms Keane.

Counsel for the State, Stephen Coughlan BL, said the witness was confronted by Sherlock at the scene. The teenager fled to Dunnes Stores where he informed security staff what had happened.

In her statement, Ms Keane said that all she remembered was receiving two stabs in the back. She declined to make a victim impact statement and was not in court yesterday.

Ms Keane suffered slash wounds to her neck, face and torso. She was rushed to hospital in Limerick and then Cork in a critical condition.

In October, Sherlock, with an address at Dromard, Lahinch Road, Ennis, pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Nicole Keane and a second charge of production of an article -- a steak knife -- capable of inflicting serious injury.

Mr Collins told the court his client unreservedly apologised to the victim.

Mr Collins said that after the assault his client walked "up the main street of Ennis, O'Connell Street, to rob a bottle of vodka, in a bloodied state, like Lady MacBeth".

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing to Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on Friday, December 13, and Sherlock was further remanded in custody to that date.

Gordon Deegan

Irish Independent

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