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Dad in severed hand attack given 8 years

A father-of-three who took part in an assault in which a carpenter's hand was cut off with a samurai sword in a crowded Dublin pub has been given an eight-year sentence.

Anthony Dowling (35) was armed with a claw hammer and co-accused Charles Russell (29) armed with the sword when they attacked a man who had allegedly made a crude remark to Dowling's mother-in-law.

Dowling, of Fortlawn Drive, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing Peter Rogers serious harm at The Deputy Mayor Pub, Meekstown on January 13, 2008.

Russell, of Whitechapel Road, was jailed for nine years in March 2009 for severing Mr Rogers' hand. He underwent 12 hours of surgery at the Mater Hospital where his hand was reattached after bar staff preserved it in ice.

Detective Garda Tony Gleeson said that Mr Rogers will never have full use of his left hand again. He had also been left with a facial scar from another blow he received from the sword. He has suffered from depression and panic attacks, his relationship has since broken down, and he will never work in carpentry again.

The court heard Dowling was shocked at Mr Rogers' injuries, which occurred while Dowling was being restrained by staff outside after hitting Mr Rogers with the hammer.

Judge Katherine Delahunt noted that Dowling had returned to the pub with Russell after a verbal altercation and that he knew his co-accused was armed with a sword. She said there was an element of premeditation.

She imposed an eight-year sentence but suspended the final year on conditions.

Witnesses saw Dowling and Russell enter the pub armed with the claw hammer and sword. Dowling hit Mr Rogers in the chest with the hammer and was then dragged away by security staff. Russell swung the samurai sword four or five times severing Mr Rogers's hand at the wrist and also hitting Dowling in the leg.

Dowling fled the scene in his van but was stopped and arrested by gardai who took him to hospital to be treated for his own injuries.

He told gardai that an offensive remark had been made to his partner's mother by the victim and accepted responsibility for his role in the offence.

The court heard Dowling, who has 31 previous convictions, showed considerable remorse.