'Visible and mental scars for the rest of my life'; Cork victim describes impact of horrifying unprovoked knife attack

'Visible and mental scars for the rest of my life'; Cork victim describes impact of horrifying unprovoked knife attack
An image of Mr Keane's scars provided by the family and used with permission.

A MAN walking home from his local pub was assaulted by a man armed with two Stanley knives in an attack described by the sentencing judge as a vicious and unprovoked assault on an innocent man.

Conor Greaney of 30 Fairfield Meadows, Upper Fairhill, Cork, was sentenced by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin to five years with half of it suspended at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing serious harm to Alan Keane at Glenryan Road, Cork, on May 16, 2019.

Tom Creed defence senior counsel said Greaney, who is in his mid-twenties, did not want to put the victim through a trial and he was remorseful.

Detective Garda Liam Lingane said Greaney had a previous conviction for assault causing harm and two for carrying knives.

Alan Keane said in his victim statement that on that night his appearance, confidence and life were altered beyond repair after being out for a weekly ritual of having a few drinks and walking home.

“I was set upon for no reason whatsoever other than to inflict the most horrific and visible scars to my face and neck. For the rest of my life I will endure both visible and mental scars. Visible, because anytime I will ever look in the mirror the scars from eighty stitches on my face and neck will always be there. Mental, because I’m now wary when going anywhere, the attack is never far from my thoughts and it has certainly dented my confidence.

“If somebody with these types of scars came towards me on the street I would think they must have done something to deserve that. Simply put, I did nothing at all. It’s been said many times since, that it was a case of the wrong place at the wrong time, which is little consolation.

“I would sincerely like to thank the heroic gentleman who risked his own life to intervene. Without his bravery the outcome may have been very different,” Mr Keane said.

An image of Mr Keane's scars provided by the family and used with permission.
An image of Mr Keane's scars provided by the family and used with permission.

Det. Garda Lingane said, “He was walking home alone as he had done dozens of times. Conor Greaney slashed him several times across the face with a small Stanley blade.

“A person came on the scene and tried to intervene but he had to retreat to his car as Mr Greaney was very threatening to this party.” Judge Ó Donnabháin said he previously heard evidence of Greaney carrying two Stanley knives on the night.

The defendant was seen leaning over the injured party with the Stanley blade. He had significant injuries to his face.

“The injured party is quite a reserved gentleman. He did not go out a lot before but he goes out less now.

“The physical injuries have improved but the scars are very prominent on his face and neck,” Det. Garda Lingane said.

Tom Creed defence senior counsel said that on the previous evidence of this incident the injured party and the defendant had no memory of the incident. The detective said that when interviewed the injured party said he remembered just pieces of the incident.

Mr Creed said the accused co-operated in that he identified himself on video taken on the night by a Good Samaritan who arrived on the scene and recorded it on his phone.

On the evidence that it was an unprovoked attack, Mr Creed said, “When the third party came on the scene they saw two parties fighting. And in fairness to the injured party he could not say what caused the fight to start.” Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “All the evidence suggests this was an unprovoked assault on an innocent man going home.”

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