herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Dubs star Jonny Cooper's knife attacker 'a danger to society'

Johnny Cooper, inset his attacker, Mark Lavelle (32)
Johnny Cooper, inset his attacker, Mark Lavelle (32)
Jonny Cooper arrives with the Sam Maguire trophy for Dublin's 'homecoming' in O’Connell Street last night
Mark Lavelle was branded a ‘danger to society’
Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper was stabbed nine times in the face and neck in a random assault

A man who stabbed Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper nine times in the face and neck in a random assault could be termed "a danger to society" a judge has said.

Mark Lavelle (32) was sentenced to seven years in prison with two suspended for the attack on Mr Cooper and the hijacking of a taxi.

Lavelle had taken crystal meth before the assault.

All Ireland winning footballer Jonny Cooper had been out with his Na Fianna team mates when he was randomly attacked on Dublin's Dorset Street.

READ MORE: Dubs star Cooper tells of fear after city knife attack

A passing driver spotted the footballer stumbling up the street, with his back soaked in blood, and he rang gardai.

Officers later followed a trail of blood from where they met Mr Cooper to a nearby chipper and secured CCTV footage from the restaurant.

Mr Cooper received nine stab wounds to his forehead, eyelid and neck area. He spent one night in hospital and has no recollection of the assault.

Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper was stabbed nine times in the face and neck in a random assault
Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper was stabbed nine times in the face and neck in a random assault

Mr Cooper wasn't in court but in a victim impact statement he said he was constantly looking over his shoulders following the attack, was apprehensive going to work and his family had been stressed.

Passing sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said Mr Cooper was "viciously attacked with a knife" and was fortunate he did not sustain more serious injuries.

Judge Nolan said that thankfully Mr Cooper had fully recovered and had "gone on to fame in his chosen sport", and had brought great enjoyment to many people, particularly Dublin people.

In relation to Lavelle, the judge said he had "a poor start in life".

Danger

Judge Nolan also said Lavelle could be termed "a danger to society", as he seems unable to stop involving himself in crime.

The judge imposed two consecutive sentences of three and a half years, a total of seven years. In light of his guilty plea, the judge said he would suspend the final two years.

Lavelle, who is originally from Swinford, Co Mayo but with an address at Basin Street, Dublin 8, had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Cooper at Dorset Street Upper on September 20, 2014.

He also admitted to seriously assaulting Thomas Smith at Kennelsfort Road Upper in Palmerstown at around 2am on the Saturday morning and to hijacking Mr Smith's car.

Lawyers for Lavelle said he suffered from a mental disorder and had been with the State's psychiatric services since his mid-teens.

He has 62 previous convictions and a long history of substance abuse.

Related Content


Promoted articles

Entertainment News