Saturday 17 March 2018

Teen who stabbed youth six times to appeal conviction

Main: Tadhg Costello, who had changed his plea to admit the attempted murder of Mr Leahy. Inset: Josh Leahy was stabbed six times
Main: Tadhg Costello, who had changed his plea to admit the attempted murder of Mr Leahy. Inset: Josh Leahy was stabbed six times

Niamh O'Donoghue

A TEENAGER who was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, with three years suspended, for the attempted murder of a 17-year-old has had his bail extended, pending an appeal.

Tadhg Costello (19), of Richmond Hill, Monkstown, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Josh Leahy at Johnson's Court in Dublin city on May 31, 2012.

He had also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Leahy and unlawful possession of a knife on the same date.

But Costello changed his plea to guilty of attempted murder on the fifth day of his Central Criminal Court trial last November.

The prosecution accepted that plea and said the other two counts would be taken into consideration.

Mr Leahy, who is now 19, was stabbed six times in the back in a row between two groups of youths, which was captured on CCTV.

The Ranelagh teenager suffered a collapsed lung and had a chest drain inserted at St James's Hospital.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Butler sentenced Costello to six years and suspended the final three years of it. But he deferred the committal order for three weeks in order to allow him to seek bail from the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The court heard that Costello had admitted in garda interviews that he carried a knife at all times and had sharpened it.

He also told gardai he knew the victim was Mr Leahy and said his intention was to kill.

Garda Philip Gleeson agreed with Mr Burns that he showed no remorse in his interviews.

A probation report put Costello at moderate risk of reoffending within the next 12 months.

In a victim-impact report read to the court on behalf of Mr Leahy, the victim said he had nightmares and still had some pain from his injuries.

In sentencing, Mr Justice Butler said that it was "a very serious offence" and Costello had stabbed Mr Leahy at least six times with an intent to kill but had no immediate remorse.

The judge noted that Costello, who lives with his mother in Monkstown, had no previous convictions and was a minor at the time when the offence was committed.

He also noted that there had been legal argument over the admissibility of his interviews and that Costello had immediately pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge after these had been allowed.


Mr Justice Butler said: "The attack has had and continues to have a severe impact on Mr Leahy, who is in court today."

Mr Justice Butler said the appropriate sentence was six years, but having regard to the probation report, he suspended the final three years.

The judge extended Costello's bail, meaning that he is allowed to be at liberty for the next three weeks until he must present himself to Dun Laoghaire garda station before midday on April 11 next.

The judge also noted that the defence intended to appeal "at least the conviction."

Irish Independent

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