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Jonny was 'defenceless' when knifeman struck


Jonny Cooper during a press event last year

Jonny Cooper during a press event last year

Jonny Cooper during a press event last year

DUBLIN GAA star Jonny Cooper was asleep and defenceless as he was repeatedly stabbed in the face and neck in a frenzied knife attack, a court has heard.

The 24-year-old was rushed to the Mater Hospital and required stitches following an incident in the early hours of September 20, at Dorset Street Upper, in Dublin 7.

The accused, Mark Lavelle (31) originally from Bollingbrook, Swinford in Co Mayo but with an address at Basin Street, Dublin 8, was refused bail by Judge John Lindsay at Cloverhill District Court.

He was charged last week with assault causing harm to the Dublin and Na Fianna player. During a bail hearing yesterday, Judge Lindsay heard that Mr Lavelle intends to contest the charge. Garda Sergeant Brendan Staines also told the court that there was an objection to the accused being released on bail due to the seriousness of the offence.

He said it was alleged Jonny Cooper was "stabbed nine times in the neck and face with a knife in an unprovoked and frenzied attack".

Gda Sgt Staines said Cooper was asleep and defenceless at the time. Mr Lavelle was allegedly caught with a knife, the sergeant also said. There was also DNA and CCTV evidence, the court heard.


In a bail application, Mr Lavelle's barrister asked the judge to note her client was still presumed innocent.

When Mr Lavelle was originally charged last week, his reply was: "I don't remember anything, the government took my medical card, I was without my medication."

Counsel said that her client will be contesting the charge and also said her client has a history of health issues, and while he could not propose an independent surety to act as a bail-person, he could offer an address in Dublin.

The barrister also asked the judge to note that the DPP has not given directions in relation to the case yet and it could still be dealt with at district court level.

However, Judge Lindsay refused bail, at which point Mr Lavelle, dressed in a grey tracksuit, stood up from behind a glass barrier and indicated to his lawyer that he was consenting to a two-week remand. The case resumes on November 13.

A decision has yet to be made as to whether the case will be dealt with at district court level or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court which can, on conviction, impose lengthier sentences.