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Gang rapist acquitted of stabbing man in front of his three-year-old son

A man convicted of gang raping a woman in a Co Clare woods when he was only 15 has been acquitted of stabbing a man in front of his three-year-old son.

Thomas O'Neill (24), of The Meadows, Murroe, Co Limerick, had denied assault causing harm to Sean Finnan, possession of a knife, and threatening Mr Finnan. During the trial at Limerick Circuit Court, Mr Finnan denied he had "fitted up" Mr O'Neill after being stabbed by others because he had 'ratted out' a Limerick drugs gang to gardai.

The State's case had rested entirely on the evidence of Mr Finnan (25), of Hyde Road, Limerick. Charges of assault causing harm to Mr Finnan, and possession of a knife, were struck out against another accused man, Mark Barry (22) of Garryglass Avenue, Limerick. The court heard there was no evidence against Mr Barry.

The prosecution's case was that Mr O'Neill and Mr Barry, who denied the charges, had stabbed Mr Finnan in front of his son on December 30, 2010.

Irish Independent