A man who stabbed a schoolboy in an unprovoked attack and lacerated his liver has been sentenced to three years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Dwaine Leeper (22) of Coultry Drive, Ballymun pleaded guilty to assaulting Eric Nolan on the Swords Road in Santry on May 23, 2009.
Leeper had previous convictions for public order and traffic offences. He could offer no explanation for stabbing Eric.
He later told gardai in interview that he was hanging around with a tough crowd and was carrying a knife to look like "the hard man".
Judge Martin Nolan said Leeper had been on the side-lines of the attack on Eric but "for some unknown reason" had then come in to stab the victim.
He said it was a very serious offence and it was fortunate that Eric had made a full recovery.
He sentenced Leeper to three years in prison but suspended the final 18 months on condition that he is of good behaviour for two years on his release.
Garda Edward Burke told Garnet Orange, prosecuting, that Eric was a fifth-year student at the time. He had been stabbed in the lower chest and the knife had penetrated his liver. He spent a week in hospital receiving treatment.
He and his friends had been out socialising that night when Leeper and another youth approached them and asked one of the group for a cigarette.
When this teenager replied that he didn't have one because he didn't smoke, Leeper's accomplice asked him "Are you getting smart with me?" before he punched him in the head.
Eric was then attacked after he tried to pull his friend away. He was punched in the head, struck around the body and knocked to the ground.
The victim managed to get up and started to walk away before he felt weak and ill. His friends then noticed he was bleeding and an ambulance was called.
Garda Burke said Leeper was identified on CCTV footage.