A YOUNG mother who stabbed her friend 22 times in a "frenzied" knife attack has been jailed for four years and told she is lucky she wasn't facing a murder charge.
Charlene Sherlock (23) leaned over 22-year-old Nicole Keane and "persistently and continuously inflicted stab wound after stab wound", Limerick Circuit Court heard.
Before jailing the young mother, Judge Carroll Moran said "words alone could not describe" the frenzied nature of the attack, which was recorded on CCTV footage and shown in court.
Judge Moran said it was a vicious and protracted attack and many of the blows were landed on a defenceless body.
The judge added such was the viciousness of the attack that the victim had a chunk of hair ripped from her head, which was later found in the accused woman's pocket.
The mother of a 10-month-old baby assaulted Nicole Keane after accusing the victim of cheating on her boyfriend, who is also Ms Sherlock's brother, the court heard.
Using what a senior garda described as a homemade "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, Co Clare, on April 13, 2013.
The court heard that Sherlock, who has 45 previous convictions, had brought a knife to the scene and made a phone call to her father afterwards in which she said: "The young one is dead."
In October, Sherlock, with an address at Dromard, Lahinch Road, Ennis, Co Clare, 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.
Previously, Detective Inspector John Galvin told Ennis Circuit Court that Sherlock attacked Ms Keane because she believed the victim was being unfaithful to her brother, whom she was going out with at the time.
Before imposing sentence, Judge Moran said it was an appalling case in which a young woman had assaulted another young woman in a "frenzied attack".
Judge Moran said Ms Keane suffered 22 stab wounds, a collapsed lung and damage to her heart, which required emergency surgery.
The judge said Ms Keane was lucky to have survived and Sherlock was lucky she was not facing a murder or a manslaughter charge.
He imposed a five-year jail sentence and suspended the final year of the sentence and bound her to keep the peace for the same period.
CAPTION: Charlene Sherlock being brought from Limerick court.
CAPTION: Brian Arthur/Press 22