Tuesday 15 October 2019

Man who stabbed sister after row about him cleaning bathroom gets partially-suspended sentence

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Brion Hoban

A Dublin man who stabbed his sister in the back after an argument about him cleaning their bathroom has been given a partially-suspended sentence.

Colm Delaney (29) of Seafort Terrace, Sandymount, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting his sister causing her harm at his address on October 1, 2018.

Garda Shauna Ferncombe told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question Sharon Delaney (42) was in the house she shared with her brother when a row broke out about him having to clean the bathroom, to which he reacted badly.

She turned away from him and felt a “sharpness” in her back. He then proceeded to slap her in the face and she cursed at him.

Ms Delaney then went to buy cigarettes and felt weak upon returning home. She asked what he had done to her, he said to her it was only a scratch and laughed.

She went to her neighbour's house and realised she had been stabbed when she touched her back and her hand came away covered in blood. Neighbours described seeing one open stab wound on her back and what looked like a slash.

Ms Delaney told gardaí she had a love/hate relationship with her brother and that he reminded her of a “Jekyll and Hyde” type of person. The court heard she was willing to have him back in the house when he is released from custody and she has visited him in prison.

Delaney has been remanded in custody since the date of the offence. He has no previous convictions and is in a long-term relationship with his partner who was present in court.

At the initial sentence hearing earlier this month, Gda Ferncombe agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that the accused's father died in 2012 and his mother died in January of 2018.

She agreed that his sister appeared to have played some role in rearing him and that alcohol seemed to be a large factor in both of their lives.

Mr Le Vert said his client was absolutely devastated by what he had done to his sister and that it was very much “them against the world” following the death of their parents.

Judge Karen O'Connor today noted that there were unusual circumstances in the case and the offence was out of character.

She said this was a violent attack and noted the effect on his sister. She took into account his early guilty plea and remorse, as well as his lack of previous convictions.

Judge O'Connor imposed a two-year sentence, backdated to October 2018, and suspended the balance of the term. She ordered him to undergo 12 months’ probation supervision.

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