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Gang thugs are jailed for horror machete attack

Two men who were part of a gang that terrorised west Dublin have been jailed for their roles in a horrific machete attack that almost severed the victim's hand.

The victim, Luke O'Toole (25), was lured to an apartment in Cherry Orchard after he was told by Robert Ellis (22), via text messages and phone calls, that his ex-girlfriend, Ellis's sister, wanted to meet him there.

When Mr O'Toole arrived he was met in the car-park by Robert Ellis and the two walked up a narrow stairwell to the apartment. There was no answer to their knocks on the door and the two men went back downstairs.


Garda Cathal Middleton told Tara Burns, prosecuting, that when Mr O'Toole was two steps from the bottom he was attacked by Shane Geoghan (22) and Lee McDonnell (21) who had been crouching by the stairwell.

After the initial attack Mr O'Toole was taken back to the car park, but he managed to escape and was found a short time later by Garda Middleton. He said the victim was bleeding very heavily from his right wrist.

Garda Middleton agreed with Caroline Biggs, defending Geoghan, that Mr O'Toole had brought a weapon to the apartments.

Ellis, of Ballyfermot Parade, Ballyfermot, Geoghan, of Rowlagh Crescent, Clondalkin and McDonnell, of Lough Conn Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to assault causing harm at Cedarbrook Avenue, Cherry Orchard, on July 27, 2011.

They each pleaded guilty on the morning of their trial having previously denied any involvement in the assault during garda interview.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years' imprisonment on McDonnell and one of four years on Ellis. She suspended the last 18 months on both terms. She adjourned the sentencing of Geoghan until October.


McDonnell has 83 previous convictions which include dangerous driving, endangerment, assault and possession of knives. Ellis has 31 previous convictions including one for assault. In 2009 he received a sentence of seven years with four suspended for distribution of drugs.

Geoghan had 43 previous convictions including public order and drugs.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said that the victim was invited to the flat to be assaulted and that he was set on when he got there.

She said that a planned attack on any person involving a weapon was at the upper end of the scale of assaults.

Mr O'Toole was treated for cuts to the back of his head, his back, his ear and both hands. The tendons in his wrist, which led to three of his fingers, were cut in his right hand and he had cuts to the tendons connected to his thumb in his left hand.

Garda Middleton agreed with Ms Burns that Mr O'Toole hadn't prepared a victim impact report for the hearing but has generally made a good recovery. He said although he has permanent scarring, he has good mobility in both hands.