Thursday 24 January 2019

Man who stabbed champion power lifter in the back with scissors jailed

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Stock picture

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin man who stabbed a champion power lifter in the back with a scissors after being told to move on from a nightclub entrance has been jailed for 32 months.

The court heard that the injured party, Thomas Gleeson, was unable to take part in European weight lifting championships after he was stabbed by Dermot Dowd (25).

Mr Gleeson had to pull out of representing Ireland in his sport on a German TV show, was off work for 38 weeks due to his injuries and couldn't afford to re-sit his masters degree exams.

Garda Kevin Cassidy revealed that Mr Gleeson, who is in his 20s, did badly in his exams as they were three days after the attack.

Dowd, of Allenton Gardens, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Gleeson causing him harm at College Green, Dublin on January 17, 2017.

He has 42 previous convictions, including robberies and assaults and is facing sentence in the New Year for dangerous driving causing death in Donegal.

Gda Cassidy told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that Dowd had been outside the nightclub looking for cigarettes off people when he encountered the injured party.

Mr Gleeson told Dowd, who was homeless at the time, to go away. He also spoke to nightclub door staff about moving Dowd on, but encountered him again about 40 minutes later still looking for cigarettes.

Mr Gleeson said Dowd produced a blade from his pocket and threatened to stab him, when the injured party told him he would give him a cigarette if he went away.

The champion weightlifter went into a shop after this threat, but felt two big blows to his back when he came back out.

Gda Cassidy said at this point Mr Gleeson had thought he'd been punched and when he turned around he saw Dowd frothing at the mouth and with a blade in his hand.

Mr Gleeson ran back towards the nightclub after being chased a short distance by Dowd. He later received hospital treatment for a 10cm wound to his back and lacerations to his shoulder.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Mr Gleeson detailed that the scars had gotten worse and had made him self conscious. He also stated that he suffered from anxiety and chest pains since the attack.

Garda Cassidy agreed with Marc Thompson BL, defending, that his client had been unfit for questioning for six hours following arrest and said he had no recollection of the assault.

He agreed that Dowd revealed that the reason he had been so intoxicated was because of the dangerous driving incident, which caused the death of his partner.

Mr Thompson submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that the attack was not premeditated and that his client told gardai he'd had a pair of scissors in his pocket for personal use.

He said Dowd was co-operative, entered an early guilty plea and was someone who had resorted to drugs and alcohol to deal with his issues.

Judge Nolan said he was accepting that Dowd had struck Mr Gleeson with scissors.

He said the offence was at the higher end of the scale for crimes of its kind because of the injuries sustained and the instrument used.

He imposed the 32 month sentence which he backdated to when Dowd entered custody on January 17 this year.

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