Friday 15 November 2019

Man who stabbed sister with peeling knife avoids jail after she tells court she forgives him

Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, and his sister Miriam O’Hara leave the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.
Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, and his sister Miriam O’Hara leave the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.
Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, and his sister Miriam O’Hara leave the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.
Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.

Declan Brennan

A man who stabbed his sister has avoided going to prison after the victim told a court she forgave her brother and had no animosity towards him.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Colm O'Hara (49) had mental health issues and had stopped taking his medication on the day he attacked his older sister.

O'Hara, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to assault of Miriam O'Hara causing her harm at her home on Edenmore Green, Raheny, Dublin on June 23, 2016.

The court heard that O'Hara was in an agitated state when he went to the house. He was giving out about a lot of issues including historical references to his childhood.

Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, and his sister Miriam O’Hara leave the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.
Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, and his sister Miriam O’Hara leave the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.

He was behaving irrationally and suddenly grabbed a peeling knife from a knife block on the kitchen counter and lunged towards her and tried to stab her.

The victim wrestled with her brother but was stabbed in the back. She got the knife off him but O'Hara got a longer knife and attacked her again, cutting her arm and wrist.

The victim told gardaí later that she was in fear of her life at the time. She was screaming “sorry” repeatedly in an attempt to calm him down.

He calmed down almost immediately and suggested his sister call the police.

Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.
Colm O'Hara (49), of no fixed abode, leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon. Pic Collins Courts.

In her victim impact statement Ms O'Hara described her wounds as small and has returned to her normal day to day life. She said she does not feel intimidated in her home and feels no animosity towards her brother.

Judge Karen O'Connor suspended a sentence of two years on condition that O'Hara keep the peace and continue to take his medication.

She told him: “It is clear you are not a bad person but you have to take your medication”.

She said Ms O'Hara was a kind and understanding lady and praised the manner in which she had forgiven her brother and accepted his expressions of remorse.

Judge O'Connor also praised the work of Garda Liam Wright, who entered the house after the attack and dealt with O'Hara in a “very sensitive and very compassionate way”.

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