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Court delay to teen's attempted murder sentence

THE sentencing of a south Co Dublin teenager who pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a 17-year-old has been adjourned in light of a Supreme Court judgment.

Tadhg Costello (18) of Richmond Hill, Monkstown, 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 trial last November.


On that date Mr Paul Burns SC prosecuting told the court the plea was acceptable and the other two counts would be taken into consideration.

At Costello's sentencing hearing yesterday Mr Damien Colgan SC defending told the court that in light of a Supreme Court decision he may need to address the court and asked for a two to three-week adjournment.

On Thursday, a unanimous Supreme Court judgment quashed an attempted rape conviction on grounds that suspects who request a lawyer cannot be questioned by gardai until they get that legal advice.

Mr Justice Paul Butler told the court the defence had to consider the Supreme Court judgment and said that an aspect of the probation report caused him some concern.

"In relation to sentence I received a very comprehensive probation report and the very end of it talks about the future," said the judge.

Mr Burns said a victim impact report had been prepared by Mr Leahy, who was in court with his mother and counsel asked for a shorter adjournment.

Mr Justice Butler told the court the defence needed to consider the judgment and remanded Costello on continuing bail for sentencing on March 21. Costello's guilty plea came following a decision by the judge on foot of two days of legal argument over the admissibility of Costello's garda interview recordings.

Mr Leahy was stabbed six times in the back after he left a nightclub in South William Street in Dublin 2.

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


Mr Leahy gave evidence to the court that he went to The Lost Society nightclub with two other friends on the night of May 30, 2012.

Mr Leahy said he and his two friends met a group of eight people who started shouting at them as they were walking by.

He said he knew one of them, Sean Plunkett, who was going out with his ex-girlfriend Sarah Whelan.

"They were shouting at us, provoking us," Mr Leahy told the court.

He said about six of the men jumped on him and he tried to defend himself by putting his arms over his head.

He said it lasted until he saw them running away and when he got to the top of the alleyway he saw a garda vehicle.

Mr Leahy said his ex-girlfriend came up to ask him if he was alright and she told him he had been stabbed.

Garda Michael O'Shea said he was on plain-clothes mobile patrol with Garda Mark Eccles on Grafton Street on May 31, 2012.

Gda O'Shea said a description of a group of males involved in a fight came over the radio.

He said when he arrived at St Stephen's Green some of the men had got into a taxi and a few of them were standing waiting to get into it.

He said he observed the accused throw a shiny object behind the rails and Garda Mark Eccles then got over the rails and recovered a knife.

Garda Damien Beakey said Emmanuel Mihaylov, one of the injured party's friends, pointed out the defendant as being the person who had the knife earlier in the night.