| 18.8°C Dublin

Thug who blinded victim in raid jailed

A Kildare man who carried out a violent burglary which left a man blinded in one eye has received a seven-and-a-half-year sentence.

Mark Farrelly (19) was one of two men who broke into a family home during the night and demanded money.

A resident in the home suffered a punctured lung and lost the sight in his left eye after being stabbed eight times.

Farrelly, of Ballymany Mews, Newbridge, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at Rathmintin Crescent, Tallaght on December 8, 2012.

Garda Sinead McCormack told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the victim hasn't returned to work since the assault and faces more surgery to stabilise his eye.

Judge Gerard Griffin imposed a ten-year sentence with the final three-and-a-half years suspended.

Farrelly has eight previous convictions, including a partially suspended sentence for arson.

He was on bail for another burglary committed on March 20, 2012 when arrested for the December 2012 incident.

Garda McCormack told the court that one of the two burglars was armed with a hunting-style knife.

Paul Leavy was asleep upstairs in the house and closed his bedroom door when he saw the men coming in.

The men kicked in the bedroom door and demanded money.

One of them then stabbed Mr Leavy in the side. They took his car keys and one man told Mr Leavy: "If you're thinking of calling the gardai, I'll kill you."


The men returned when they were unable to open the car. They found Mr Leavy on the telephone and became angry.

He told them he was ringing for medical assistance because he had been stabbed.

One of the attackers replied: "I'll show you a f***ing stabbing" and then sliced the knife across the victim's eye.

Judge Griffin noted the "gratuitous degradation" of the victim. He also said aggravating factors were the fact that Farrelly was on bail at the time and his eight previous convictions.

Colman Fitzgerald SC, defending, said his client had an "extraordinarily difficult start to life".