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Man who slashed best friend’s throat in pint row gets suspended sentence

A SOUTH Dublin man who slashed open his best friend’s throat in a row over a pint has received a suspended prison sentence.

Luke Walsh (23) said he couldn’t remember most of the incident in which he put a pint glass into his friend’s neck and pulled it across to his Adam’s apple.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Walsh and the victim, Colm Doyle (23), had been friends since school and had just returned from a trip to Amsterdam before the incident.

Walsh of Broadfield Drive, Ballinteer pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Doyle at the Rockfield Lounge, Dundrum on March 5, 2009.

Garda Glen Mackessy told Monica Leech BL, prosecuting, that the two men were drinking in the pub at around 10pm when Mr Doyle went outside for a cigarette and returned to find Walsh drinking his pint.

When Mr Doyle said this to Walsh he was told to “fuck off”.

Mr Doyle said he told Walsh to keep the pint and got another one for himself.

He later found Walsh drinking this pint.

Garda Mackessy said the victim confronted Walsh again and asked for it back.

The victim told gardai that Walsh told him again to “fuck off” and “put the glass into my neck and brought it down as far as my Adam’s apple.”

He said Walsh then hit him again with a piece of glass in his hand.

An ambulance was called and took Mr Doyle to hospital where he was operated on and given blood transfusions.

Garda Mackessy said the next day a further operation was required to close the veins and arteries in his neck, including his jugular.

The court heard that a medical report described Mr Doyle’s injuries on the night as life threatening.

Walsh told gardai he couldn’t remember carrying out the attack but accepted that it must have happened.

Patrick Reynolds BL, defending, said that his client, has since sought treatment to deal with his drinking.

The father of one, who is employed in Dunnes Stores, has handed over €10,000 to the victim as a token of his genuine remorse.

Counsel said the incident was out of character and a once off. The court heard Walsh has only one other conviction, for drink driving in which he was only slightly over the limit.

Judge Desmond Hogan said the attack had left the victim with horrific scars and that Walsh was lucky not to be facing more serious charges.

The judge suspended a sentence of four years and ordered Walsh to pay a fine of €2,000 and to carry out 240 hours of community work.