Tuesday 24 April 2018

Man accused of stabbing has case adjourned

A MAN who stabbed his neighbour in the chest after a row over the victim's loud music had the case against him adjourned to see if he is suitable for community service after the circuit court judge said there had been 'significant provocation' during the Woodview Park incident.

Stephen Mackin (44), 35 Woodview Park, Castletown Road pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his next-door neighbour at number 36 on May 11, 2013. Both the defendant and the victim gave differing accounts of the incident, which started when another neighbour, a woman, called to the victim's door about loud music being played.

She alleged that there was a verbal altercation and the victim lifted a hammer and told her to go away. It was as she was walking away that Mackin opened his door and there was a confrontation between the two men.

It started off as a verbal row and Mackin went inside to get a knife. He alleged the victim also had a knife, which Mackin managed to grab and throw away, and he later showed gardai where it was and it was recovered.

During the row, Mackin stabbed the 51-year-old man once in the chest. He was operated on for the wound, which caused fluid in his lungs, at hospitals in Drogheda and in Dublin. The victim told gardai Mackin said: 'I will stab you' before the assault.

Mackin immediately admitted his involvement in the stabbing and told gardai he had been drinking and he had no idea of the serious nature of the injury. It was also revealed in court that although there had been no trouble from Mackin since the incident, it had been alleged that the stab victim had assaulted him in October last year and there was a case pending before the district court.

Judge Leonie Reynolds heard how Mackin suffered from epilepsy and other neurological conditions following a very serious road crash in 1998 which, his barrister said, 'completely changed his life'. Mackin received a large amount of compensation and donated €130,000 to stem cell research because of his epilepsy.

His previous conviction for possession of a firearm, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence in October 2006, had happened at a time when he was in fear of subversives who had also taken a significant amount of money off him.

Mackin's barrister said he had previously used heroin after his 'life spiralled out of control' following the accident, but he was now off it and hadbeen attending AA for his alcohol issues.

The barrister said Mackin, who has a 'very supportive family', is a relatively vulnerable man who had owned up straight away for what happened and has made 'huge efforts' to improve his life.

Judge Reynolds said there 'appeared to be a significant degree of provocation on the part of the injured party'. She said the offence was serious but the case had 'significant background issues that have to be taken into account'.

She adjourned the case to October 28 for a community service suitability report to be prepared.

The Argus