A Lithuanian man who stabbed his housemate in the torso, neck and ear during a physical altercation over domestic matters has avoided a jail term.
Garda Rob Nolan told a previous sentence hearing last December that he was on duty when neighbours alerted him to a dispute between Arturas Bulksas (55) and his then housemate.
Bulksas, of Burnside, Magenta Crescent, Santry, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the man causing him harm at his address on December 23, 2017. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Melanie Greally had adjourned sentencing after hearing evidence last December and ordered community service and probation reports. She accepted that this was a case with “some peculiarities favourable to the accused”.
She warned that given where the injuries were inflicted, an accused person can usually expect to get a custodial sentence “regardless of their point of life”.
Today Judge Greally said Bulksas' pleas of guilty were significant considering evidence that the victim refused to make a victim impact report, provide a medical report and didn't want to proceed with the prosecution.
The judge acknowledged that the report from the Probation Service indicated that Bulksas was suitable for community service.
She ordered that he carry out 240 hours community service in lieu of two years in prison and complete it within 12 months. The judge also imposed a two year sentence which she suspended in full.
Gda Nolan told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, at the earlier hearing, that Bulksas got a kitchen knife during the altercation and stabbed his housemate in the torso, neck and ear.
He was initially unfit to be questioned by gardaí as he was so intoxicated, but he later made admissions. The court heard the injured party, who spent two days in hospital with his wounds, refused to make a victim impact statement or provide a medical report.
Gda Nolan told Judge Greally that the injuries were not life threatening.
He said the man made a statement to gardaí to say he was leaving the country and didn't want anything further to do with the case.
The garda agreed with Emmet Nolan BL, defending, that Bulksas admitted in interview that he had drunk a bottle of vodka prior to the dispute.
Mr Nolan submitted to Judge Greally that it was unusual for someone in their “first outing in criminality” to use a knife. He said his client had come home that day and had an argument with the injured party about household matters. He said the dispute then turned physical.
Mr Nolan submitted that his client had not attempted to “wriggle out” of the case by taking a trial date, in light of the injured man wanting nothing more to do with the matter.
He said Bulksas had come to work in Ireland ten years ago, but now suffers from a stomach ailment which will require surgery. Counsel asked Judge Greally to take into account his client's early plea, his genuine remorse, his previous good record and that he has no family in Ireland.