A MAN walking home through Cork city in the early hours of the morning thought he was going to be killed by two young men who subjected him to a frenzied attack.
It was not until he held up a beer barrel to fend them off that his attackers walked away. At this stage, the victim was stabbed and had his jaw broken.
Garda Pat Russell said the 45-year-old man was walking home through Cork city centre when he was confronted by two males who demanded money from him. He was thrown to the ground and kicked a number of times in the head and was also stabbed.
An eight-year sentence, with the last two years suspended, was imposed on Jamie Crowley, of 24 Nutley Road, Mahon, who pleaded guilty to robbing the man of €100 at South Mall, on September 5, assault causing harm, production of a knife and possessing cannabis. Crowley had previous convictions.
His accomplice, Peter Carroll, aged 21, of 51 Corrib Lawn, Mayfield, had no previous convictions and pleaded guilty to robbing the man and assault causing harm. He got a sentence of five years, with the last two years suspended.
The victim, John O’Driscoll, stated: “I was kicked on the ground while the other one was stabbing me in the back. I really thought I was going to be killed.
“I was in shock. I don’t know how I managed but I picked up a keg to use as defence. This action saved me as they both ran off. The gardaí were fantastic. They had one suspect arrested within an hour.”
Mr O’Driscoll said he was left to wonder if the attack would have occurred at all if one of the men — who was out on bail on other charges — had been denied this bail. Mr O’Driscoll described it as a life-threatening attack.
Garda Russell said: “The injured party took €100 from his pocket and threw it at the two males but the attack continued. Jamie Crowley took a knife from his pants and stabbed the injured party in the back.
“The injured party managed to get to the other side of the road where he picked up an empty beer keg that was outside the Electric Bar and used that to keep distance between himself and his attackers. But he was stabbed a second time in the shoulder by Jamie Crowley.
“The injured party made his way to Anglesea Street garda station where he was taken to Cork University Hospital. He received treatment for a double fracture to his jaw as well as the two stab wounds. He underwent surgery to place a plate in his jaw and he will require further surgery.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin described the attack as vicious and frenzied where there was a determination to cause injury to the man who was walking home from work.
“This man thought they were going to kill him. Except for the beer barrel that is the risk he was in,” he said. Both defendants expressed their shame, remorse and apology for what they did to the victim on the night.