herald

Friday 20 April 2018

Mother stabbed friend 22 times in playground

A MOTHER repeatedly stabbed her friend 22 times with a homemade "shiv" in a vicious and horrific attack in an Ennis playground, earlier this year.

Mother of a nine-month-old baby girl, Charlene Sherlock (23), walked away "to rob a bottle of vodka, in a bloodied state, like Lady MacBeth", a court was told.

She assaulted Nicole Keane (22) after accusing the victim of cheating on her boyfriend who is Ms Sherlock's brother.

Using what a senior garda described as a "shiv", Ms Sherlock slashed and stabbed Ms Keane in the face, neck and torso in a drunken attack in a playground area of the Holy Family primary school on Station Road, Ennis, on April 13, 2013.

WEPT

At Ennis Circuit Court, Ms Sherlock wept as she looked on at CCTV footage showing her repeatedly bring the sharp instrument down on Ms Keane's body.

During the incident, Ms Sherlock made a phone call to her father to tell him "the young one is dead, the young one is dead. She has been stabbed".

She took a break from stabbing her victim to return to continue what her counsel, Michael Collins BL, described as a "vicious and horrific" attack.

Detective Inspector John Galvin told the court Ms Sherlock attacked Ms Keane because she believed the victim was being unfaithful to Ms Sherlock's brother. Brendan Sherlock (20), also with an address at Dromard, Ennis, who was in prison at the time.

Det Insp Galvin said Ms Sherlock and Ms Keane, who were friends, arranged to meet in town on the day of the assault.

He said the pair drank vodka while Ms Sherlock had also consumed two Upjohn tablets on the day of the assault.

A 16-year old with Asperger's Syndrome witnessed the assault after hearing screams from an alleyway adjoining the Holy Family school.

He said he observed Ms Sherlock stabbing and slashing the victim with a knife held in her right hand. He told gardai Ms Sherlock repeatedly shouted "Were you messing with my brother?" as she stabbed Ms Keane.

Counsel for the State, Stephen Coughlan BL, said that the witness was confronted by Ms Sherlock at the scene. The teenager fled to Dunnes Stores where he informed security staff what had happened.

In her statement, Ms Keane said that all she remembers is receiving two stabs in the back. She declined to make a victim impact statement. Ms Keane suffered slash wounds to her neck, face and torso. She was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

HARM

Det Insp Galvin said Ms Sherlock, who has 45 previous convictions, admitted stabbing Ms Keane two times.

In October, Charlene Sherlock, with an address at Dromard, Lahinch Road, Ennis, pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Nicole Keane and a second charge of production of an article – a steak knife – capable of inflicting serious injury.

Mr Collins told the court his client unreservedly apologised to the victim. The court heard Ms Sherlock comes from a family of 13. He said her mother died in tragic circumstances in 2008 and elder brother Jimmy was found dead on Ennis Golf Course on August 16.

He said there may be an element of post-natal depression to the case. Ms Sherlock, the court heard, had been prescribed medication for paranoia, stress and panic attacks in February shortly after the death of her baby daughter.

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing to Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on Friday, December 13th and Ms Sherlock was further remanded in custody to that date.

hnews@herald.ie

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