herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Ireland's 'most dangerous criminal' gets six years for random stabbings

ireland's most dangerous criminal has received a six-year sentence for stabbing two people in completely random attacks.

Leon Wright (26) had been on bail for assaulting two gardai when he knifed a Mauritian national on Grafton Street and a man walking with a female companion on Chatham Row minutes later.

Wright, who appeared in court handcuffed and flanked by five prison staff wearing riot gear, told gardai that he had been aiming for the second victim's organs in the attack.

plea

He claimed he had tried to kill the man "but his bird got in the way."

Wright, of Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery and assault of Harisikashra Rajaysur outside Burger King, Grafton Street on April 16, 2013.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting Killian Byrne and Karolina Dryzaite and to robbing a purse and its contents at Chatham Row on the same date.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Gda Denise Bowes and former Reserve Garda Rachel Finlay on Abbey Street on January 23, 2013.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring gave Wright four years for assaulting the two gardai at an earlier sentence hearing. He will serve his sentence for the stabbings after he has completed this sentence.

The Herald previously revealed how Wright was placed in the punishment unit of Portlaoise Prison after he broke a prison officer's nose and injured another officer in an unprovoked attack in Dublin's Wheatfield Prison.

Judge Ring noted that a psychiatrist outlined Wright's background as one "characterised by extreme neglect, abandonment and abuse."

The judge commented that the psychiatrist's report made for "disturbing reading".

She noted that he is at high risk of harm to others given his notoriety and the charged atmosphere of the prison system. She added she was disturbed to find out Wright has no access to books in his cell, but accepted this must be for good reason.

The judge suspended the final two years of the six-year sentence to encourage Wright to continue his progress in getting drug-free.

When describing the first attack, Wright had said: "I just picked a fight with a fella and took out a knife and stabbed him."

tablets

He said he had been in a "bad head space" and under the influence of tablets.

He apologised to his victims in later interviews and revealed he had wanted to hurt himself because he was sick of life.

He has 84 previous convictions, including 30 assaults, four garda assaults, robberies and firearms offences.

Sources previously told the Herald that Wright - who was jailed for 10 years in March, 2007, for a litany of violent crimes, including robbery, hijacking, assault and threatening to kill gardai - is a "ticking time bomb who is capable of anything.

hnews@herald.ie

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