herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Thug held after addict maimed in ear slice horror at house party

Gardai at the scene at the Whitefriar Gardens flats where Mark Burke was attacked
Gardai at the scene at the Whitefriar Gardens flats where Mark Burke was attacked

A vicious criminal has been arrested over a shocking incident in which a crack cocaine addict had almost all his ear sliced off, and was stabbed twice in the chest.

The thug is one of at least three people that gardai suspect were involved in the gruesome attack on notorious criminal Mark Burke (40) in the capital's south inner city on Wednesday morning.

The attack, which is being investigated by officers based at Kevin Street Garda Station, happened at 9am after a drug-fuelled house party at Whitefriar Gardens flats.

Unpredictable

The man arrested by gardai is suspected of taking Burke's ear as a 'trophy' before dumping it near the south inner city hostel where he was staying.

Bloodstained clothing has also been recovered from the suspect's locker at the homeless hostel. He was questioned for a number of hours before being released without charge late on Wednesday night.

A manhunt is continuing for the two other suspects who are wanted in connection with the attack.

Burke has served multiple jail sentences for offences linked to his serious drug addiction and has lived at various addresses in the south inner city and Crumlin in recent years when he was not locked up.

He has multiple previous convictions, including for attempting to rob a shop at knifepoint, arson, and biting a garda.

Sources said he is considered an "extremely violent, unpredictable and dangerous person".

The Herald revealed yesterday that Burke was refusing to co-operate with the garda investigation into the sickening attack on him.

Mark Burke
Mark Burke

In 2013, a court hearing was told that he had a €100-a-day crack cocaine habit when he robbed a shop at knifepoint in the south inner city in 2011.

The career criminal walked into the Costcutters shop and, after showing a five-inch knife to the "terrified" shop worker, said he wanted money.

Knife

Burke then grabbed a total of €180 from the cash register.

After that robbery he walked into another convenience shop and again showed the knife to a man at the checkout, who was "terrified for his life".

The man pressed the panic button and his co-workers came from behind Burke and overpowered him.

When he was arrested, he was highly intoxicated and admitted that he had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine that day.

Burke told gardai he carried out the earlier robbery because he needed money to buy crack cocaine.

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