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Sword attacker sliced off victim's left hand

A MAN who had just had his hand severed with a samurai sword punched his attacker in the face with the stump, a court heard yesterday.

Charles Russell (28), of Whitechapel Road, Dublin 15 was remanded in custody pending sentence after pleading guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing Peter Rogers serious harm at The Deputy Mayor Pub, Meekstown on January 13, 2008.

His 31 previous convictions included road traffic and criminal damage offences.

Detective Garda Tony Gleeson told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Russell severed Mr Roger's hand at the wrist with his first swing of the sword and his hand fell to the ground.

He said that the victim did not notice that he had lost his hand, which, he said, must have been due to shock.

Mr Rogers (28) continued to struggle with Russell and at one stage punched the accused in the face with the stump of his arm.

Det Gda Gleeson said that Mr Rogers will never have full use of his left hand again.

He had suffered from depression, his relationship had since broken down, and he would never work in carpentry again, or play golf and football, which he had done before the assault.

Det Gda Gleeson said that both Russell and his co-accused had left the pub earlier that day and returned with the sword and a hammer before they both assaulted Mr Rogers.

Judge Katherine Delahunt said it was "an assault of a most serious nature" before she adjourned sentencing to later this week.

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Det Gda Gleeson said that Mr Rogers had been in the pub with a number of friends that day when he heard someone shout, "there's the c**t" before he was struck from behind with a hammer. This blow came from Russell's co-accused and friend who was then wrestled away by bar staff. He has denied the charges and is due for trial later this year.

Russell then swung a samurai sword at Mr Rogers and continued to strike at him four or five times before staff dragged him away. He was restrained by the bar manager but managed to escape and fled the scene.

Det Gda Gleeson said that one customer picked up Mr Rogers' hand and placed it in ice in a black bag. The victim was taken to the Mater hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to re-attach his hand.

Russell was arrested the following March after gardai identified him from CCTV footage. He exercised his right to silence in the subsequent interview.

"He gave no convincing reason for the motivation behind the attack," Det Gda Gleeson said.


Det Gda Gleeson agreed with defence counsel, that Russell's co-accused claimed that Mr Rogers had said something insulting to his girlfriend's mother which led to the attack.

He accepted that while Russell did not say anything in interview he consented to his blood being taken for DNA analysis and to standing in an identification parade.

Witness acknowledged that a medical report said that Mr Rogers had made some progress, although it was slow, but added that doctors had concluded that it is unlikely that the victim will ever make a full recovery.

Det Gda Gleeson agreed in re-examination that there was no evidence to support Russell's co-accused's version of events.

Russell's defence counsel said his client had developed a cocaine problem and had been taking drugs and drinking for four days prior to the assault.

He said that his friend had approached him and told him that Mr Rogers had insulted the woman but accepted that "none of this goes to excuse what happened" and said his client's reaction was not "even conceivably proportionate".

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