A MAN who left his victim severely brain damaged and wheelchair bound after a knife attack has been sentenced to 12 years.
Robert Slator (30) stabbed Daniel O'Haire, cutting a 3cm gash on the right side of his neck and lacerating his jugular vein.
The wound caused cardiac arrest and deprivation of blood to the brain.
After the stabbing, Slator boasted to onlookers: "Ha, youse didn't think I would do it. I only bought this one (knife) last night; it's nice isn't it?" and wiped the blood off the knife onto the grass.
The court heard that Slator went on the run for eight years, having fled Ireland the day after the attack. He was brought back before the court last August under a European Arrest Warrant.
Judge Desmond Hogan said the attack was "high up the scale of seriousness" and the effects on the victim made for "dismal reading".
He imposed a 12-year jail term and suspended the final 12 months, after noting Slator's tough upbringing.
Mr O'Haire's mother Liz said: "He was a big brother but now he has become a baby. His life is hanging on a thread.
"Daniel is so severely brain-damaged that he cannot speak, swallow or walk. He is fully aware of his surroundings but as he cannot speak he blinks to indicate yes or no.
"Thirty years ago, I gave birth to my beautiful son and Robert Slator took his beautiful life in 2003 as Daniel died for 30 minutes."
Slator, of Barry Avenue in Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to recklessly causing serious harm to Mr O'Haire in Finglas on July 18, 2003.
Detective Garda Tony Gleeson told the court the stabbing stemmed from a previous incident between the men.
Mr O'Haire walked towards Slator and they squared up to each other.
"Slator swiped three times at the victim and missed. The fourth swipe with the knife hit Mr O'Haire in the neck," said Det Gda Gleeson. Mr O'Haire was heard saying: "I can't breathe. I'm going to die."
An ambulance was called and Mr O'Haire went into cardiac arrest and underwent CPR for 20 minutes.
Isobel Kennedy, defending, said Slator offered his "heartfelt apologies".
"He fled the country as he felt at risk from various people, and his family left their home due to the anger which resulted from the incident," she said.