Monday 16 September 2019

Psychiatric nurse who twice stabbed teenager is jailed

Brian Quinn (51), Balbriggan, Co Dublin arrives at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.
Brian Quinn (51), Balbriggan, Co Dublin arrives at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.

Brion Hoban

A psychiatric nurse who twice stabbed a teenager following a birthday party at a neighbouring house has been jailed.

Brian Quinn (51), now of Balbriggan, Co Dublin was convicted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Lee Harte at his former residence on October 9, 2011.

Judge Patrick Quinn sentenced Brian Quinn to five and a half years imprisonment with the final two years suspended on condition he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two year post release.

Judge Quinn also sentenced him to two years for using an offensive weapon which will run concurrent to the other sentence. He ordered that Quinn receive credit for the two years and one month period of imprisonment he has already served on these charges after a previous conviction which was overturned.

Sergeant Sinead McCormack told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that at 4am on the night in question Mr Harte and his cousin left a birthday party held next door to Quinn's former residence on Deer Park Avenue, Kiltipper, Tallaght, Dublin.

Sgt McCormack said that Quinn's wife was smoking in her front garden and started shouting at the two men that she was sick of them having parties. Quinn emerged from his house and an altercation began in which several other men from the party got involved.

Mr Harte, who was eighteen at the time, was pulled inside the house and was followed by other men from the party. Quinn and the men exchanged punches while Mr Harte tried to be a “peace keeper”.

Mr Harte saw Quinn holding a knife and facing towards his cousin. He pushed Quinn in the back and told him to leave his cousin alone.

Quinn stabbed Mr Harte in the left leg and the stomach. He managed to exit the house and an ambulance brought him to hospital where he underwent surgery.

In a victim impact statement read out in court Mr Harte said “I did not think I would survive”. He said he had to undergo further operations due to internal bleeding from his liver.

He said that he had been studying at the time to become a veterinary assistant and his injuries had prevented him from pursuing this dream. He said he finds it hard to hug his family due to experiencing flashbacks.

Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, said the incident “occurred in the context of an attack by many other people”. He said Quinn perceived his partner being “manhandled” and that he had been hit on the head both outside and inside his house.

He said Quinn has no previous convictions and has not come to the attention of gardaí since the incident. He asked that the fact he had previously served time for these charges be taken into account.

Quinn was convicted by a jury for the same charges and sentenced to eight years imprisonment on November 21, 2013. He served just under two years and one month of that sentence before the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal and he was released.

Judge Quinn said the mitigating factors in the case was the likely loss of his job as a psychiatric nurse following the conviction, that he had to move house due to an attack on his home a short time after the incident, his previous good character and that he would have to be re-admitted afresh to prison.

Judge Quinn said that there was a “certain tragedy about this case” and that it was clear Mr Harte was completely innocent of any blame regarding the night's events.

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