Man's hand cut off in Samurai Sword attack
A FATHER of three who took part in an assault in which a carpenter's hand was cut off with a samurai sword has succeeded in having a quarter of his eight-year sentence suspended on appeal.
Anthony Dowling (36) was armed with a claw hammer and his co-accused Charles Russell (30) armed with the sword when they attacked a man who had allegedly made a crude remark to Dowling's mother-in-law in a crowded Dublin pub.
Dowling, of Fortlawn Drive, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm to Peter Rogers at The Deputy Mayor Pub, Meekstown, on January 13, 2008.
He had been sentenced to eight years in prison with the final year suspended in February last year, while Russell, of Whitechapel Road, got a nine-year sentence in March 2009 for severing Mr Rogers's hand.
The Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday quashed the original sentence imposed on Dowling and replaced it with one of eight years with two years suspended, having found there were "significant differences" between the culpability of Dowling and his co-defendant in inflicting the assault.
His counsel Patrick Marrinan told the court Dowling entered the pub armed with a claw hammer and hit the victim in the chest before being removed from the premises.
He said Detective Garda Tony Gleeson had told the original sentence hearing that the injuries suffered by Mr Rogers had "shocked" Dowling, who was being restrained outside the pub when they occurred.
Mr Marrinan said Dowling should not be held responsible for the actions of his co-defendant.
Ms Justice Susan Denham, sitting with Mr Justice Declan Budd and Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, said the court acknowledged that Dowling and his co-accused had acted in concert but was concerned that there was insufficient disparity between the sentences imposed on the two men.
Ms Justice Denham said the court would set aside his original sentence and replace it with one of eight years with two years suspended.