Man who left knife in attacker's face is jailed for four years
A Limerick man who stabbed his attacker in the face with a five-inch kitchen knife has been jailed for four years after a judge was shown the "appalling photos of a knife lodged in a person's face".
Sentencing Craig McMahon (25) at Limerick Circuit Court, Judge Tom O'Donnell said the young father's stabbing of a man in the face during a dispute outside a city off-licence was "a disproportionate reaction which could have been fatal and something that is not acceptable in a civilised society".
The court heard McMahon (25), who has 27 previous convictions, went with a friend to an off-licence in Parnell Street, Limerick on March 16, 2014 and became involved in a violent clash with two other men outside the shop.
Det Brian O'Connor said one of the men tried to pull Mc- Mahon to the ground and hit him with a bag of beer cans.
There were several more interactions before McMahon took a knife from his pocket and struck the victim in his left cheek and plunged a knife into his face.
McMahon was arrested three weeks after the incident and charged with violent disorder, along with the three other men.
Judge O'Donnell said it was a shocking attack as the knife was still lodged in the man's face when gardai and paramedics arrived.
The judge said "matters took a bizarre turn as the injured man did not make a complaint and refused to let gardai obtain his medical files or allow them to be disclosed to the court".
"The only such evidence that you could say was before the court were these horrific pictures tendered by the prosecution," Judge O'Donnell said.
Noting McMahon's previous convictions, Judge O'Donnell said the majority of the offences were connected to public order and road traffic matters.
McMahon's letter of apology, the judge said, was considered by the court, as well as the length of time in custody, "which has been to his benefit" in the courses completed.
Jailing McMahon for five years but suspending the last 12 months, the judge said "self-defence was not an issue at any stage" and added that this was a "disproportionate reaction by the accused".