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'Butcher' burglar who cut off artist's fingers had history of stabbing

THE burglar who used knives "like a butcher" on a woman artist -- hacking off her fingers -- had previously attacked a couple in a savage stab attack.

James Kenny has been jailed for 16 years for cutting off Alexandra Trotsenko's fingers after breaking into her apartment in Finglas.

He had a previous conviction for assault and theft in 1998.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Tony Hunt described the gruesome attack as "unspeakable, almost medieval barbarity" and said Ms Trotsenko had been left with a constant physical reminder "of the horror visited upon her".

Kenny (35), of Eden Block, Prospect Hill, Finglas, was jailed for four years for the 1998 attack in which he stabbed a man and a woman.

In the incident he broke into the home of a 58-year-old man, with whom he had "an issue", and tied him up. When the man tried to escape, he stabbed him several times. Then, when the man escaped over a balcony, he turned his attention to the man's partner and stabbed her 10 times. He received a four-year sentence.

In the Finglas attack, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Kenny pushed his way into the artist's apartment wearing a balaclava and took a number of items before binding and gagging the woman and later attacking her.

He told gardai he had no reason to attack the woman, had a problem with painkillers and had just wanted to get money.

The woman described Kenny as using the knives on her "like a butcher". She said she was sliding around in blood and felt her only option at one point was to play dead. She lost consciousness and when she awoke, made her way to a local hotel where she collapsed and staff called an ambulance.

The victim needed to be resuscitated on her arrival at hospital and had suffered three deep facial lacerations as well as life-threatening wounds. She had stab wounds to her neck, abdomen and chest.







Amputated

Her ring finger and little finger had been amputated at the joints and her middle and index finger partially amputated. Doctors were able to successfully reattach her middle finger but she lost the other finger portions. Her facial scars are also still visible.

Kenny pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with a knife and machete at another block of the Prospect Hill complex and causing serious harm to the woman on September 2, 2009.

The court heard that the woman is now unable to hold a pen. She had an exhibition of her work in St Stephen's Green in 2006 to some acclaim and had illustrated a children's book. She had been planning to illustrate a further book before the attack. She has never returned to the apartment.

Judge Hunt said that due to the "horrendous" injuries inflicted upon her by Kenny, her life was "irretrievably altered".







Horror

"Every minute of every day for the rest of her life she will have the physical reminder of the horror visited upon her."

Judge Hunt said he felt it was significant Kenny "knew very clearly what he was doing" during the attack.

Gardai recovered CCTV from the area and received confidential information that the stolen items could be found at Kenny's address. They also recovered a silver knife and black gloves from his apartment.

Kenny was arrested and initially denied any knowledge of the crime but later made full admissions. He told gardai he had not wished to hurt the woman but just wanted to take a few things and did not know there was someone in the apartment.

He admitted binding and gagging her. He said something then happened to him and he began feeling anger towards the woman and attacked her.

Kenny described himself as "a wreck" and said he had a problem with painkillers. He said he had taken 16 Nurofen and cans of beer. He chose the woman's block because it was isolated and took the knife to use as a threat. He said he had no reason for the attack.

hnews@herald.ie


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