Tuesday 27 September 2016

Psychiatric nurse jailed for stabbing three people after birthday party moves to appeal conviction

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Published 12/11/2015 | 17:32

Psychiatric nurse Brian Quinn. Collins
Psychiatric nurse Brian Quinn. Collins

A man jailed for stabbing three people following a birthday party at a neighbouring house has moved to appeal his conviction.

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Brian Quinn (47) formerly of Deer Park Avenue, Kiltipper, Tallaght, and then Balbriggan, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Stephen Keogh, Lee Harte and James Toner Senior on October 9, 2011.

Quinn had further pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Kurtis Lennon, James Toner Junior and Robert Ryan and production of a knife on the same date.

A jury convicted him of seriously assaulting Mr Harte and assaulting Mr Lennon and Mr Toner causing them harm. He was also convicted of production of a knife but acquitted of the remaining charges.

He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by Judge Carmel Stewart on March 10, 2014.

Quinn moved to appeal his conviction today on grounds involving the trial judges directions to the jury on the law of self defence in the context of an alleged attack on a person in his dwelling.

Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha, SC, for Quinn, told the Court of Appeal that the first limb of the test was honest belief as to the necessity to use force and the second limb was the amount of force used.

Mr Ó Lideadha said the first limb was a subjective test and the second limb was primarily a subjective test with an objective element in that the jury should determine whether the belief was credible.

Counsel submitted that the trial judge gave inconsistent directions on the law.

Having correctly instructed the jury at the outset, counsel submitted, the judge went on to tell jurors that they must decide whether the type and amount of force used was reasonable.

The court heard that it was immaterial whether or not the belief should be reasonable. What was important was whether or not the belief was honestly held and credible.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would reserve judgment and give it as soon as it was ready.

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