A KNIFE was tied to a masked man’s wrist “like a charm bracelet” as he repeatedly stabbed a mother-of-three in her own home at Christmas and told her he was going to kill her – something he previously threatened.
54-year-old Thomas O’Sullivan of Silvercourt, Silversprings, Cork, was sentenced to 12 years with the last two years suspended at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin described it as an extremely serious case.
Detective Garda Mark Durcan who investigated the horrific attack that occurred two days before Christmas in the home of a Cork family said the mother was in surgery for nine and a half hours to save her life from multiple stab injuries.
Thomas O’Sullivan expressed remorse through his barrister Ray Boland and said the family would have nothing to fear from him on his eventual release from prison.
Thomas O’Sullivan had been bound to the peace at Cork District Court in 2012 and in a subsequent civil case he was ordered to pay €25,000 to a member of the injured party’s family.
This figure was mentioned by the accused as he left the house after the knife attack last Christmas.
O’Sullivan also stood in the doorway laughing, Detective Garda Durcan said.
The 47-year-old victim of the serious assault said, “We loved Christmas and all things to do with Christmas. On December 23 the four of us (the mother and her three children) were in my car.
"Christmas songs were playing on the radio and we drove home singing merry Christmas and telling each other how we loved each other.
“I was in my own bedroom at about 9.30pm. Suddenly the accused burst into the bedroom wearing a balaclava.
"He began to stab me all over my body. He pushed me back on a bunk bed. I thought he was going to rape me.
“He kept stabbing me and the knife was tied to his wrist like a charm bracelet.
"I don’t know where I got the strength from but I pushed him to the floor and pulled his leather jacket over his face.
“When the children hear the screams my eldest daughter ran into the room and saw him continue to stab me. She jumped on him too.
“My son came into the room and was screaming, ‘Please, please, stranger, leave my Mommy alone.’ He stabbed both my son and daughter badly and I thought we were all killed.
“During the attack, he said, ‘Remember I told you I would come for you and now I am going to kill you.’ He kept repeating, ‘I am going to kill you.’
“I was shocked when I discovered that my children were sleeping with items under their pillows to protect them from further harm.
“It is so hard for anyone to imagine how you would have planned and intended to cause me and my family such harm, leaving me almost dead.
"You intended to do this. You came prepared. I hope God will forgive you, but I cannot.”
She thanked Detective Garda Mark Durcan and his colleagues who investigated the case.
Det. Garda Durcan said that during interview, O’Sullivan said, “I felt that I would have been better off ending things… I drank about five cans on top of wine and medication.
"I stopped thinking about (killing himself) and more about bringing her with me.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin described the knife attack as premeditated, prepared, determined, vicious and arising out of a grudge borne for several years.
The judge said the nub of it was the accused having to pay €25,000 compensation years before and he said this boiled up in his mind and burst out on the night in question.
He said a doctor and psychiatrist dealing with the accused before this happened were unable to “lance the boil” that had been building up in his mind.
Concurrent three-year sentences were imposed on O’Sullivan for assaults on the victim’s children – a 20-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son – who intervened to protect their mother on the night.
The accused signed pleas of guilty to charges of assault causing serious harm to the 47-year-old woman and assault causing harm to the son and daughter.