A student who came to the rescue of his friend who was being attacked by a knife-wielding man ended up suffering defensive stab wounds to his left arm.
Michael Crinnion of 1 Blackwater Grove, Togher, pleaded guilty to assaulting the first student and assault causing harm to the second student who came to his assistance.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a three-year jail term on the 29-year-old accused for what he termed an unprovoked attack.
The judge said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that it was a worrying type of case.
Garda Lorna Healy said three college students were walking towards the city centre from The Rock Bar on Gilabbey Street, Cork, when they were set upon by Michael Crinnion in an unprovoked attack.
One of the students was struck in the head from behind.
Crinnion struck him while holding a knife in his hand and the handle of the knife struck his head.
This injured party fled but was chased by Michael Crinnion.
One of the other two students rang gardaí while the second young man ran after his friend who was being pursued by the attacker.
As this student intervened to protect his friend, Crinnion swung his knife at this young man who sustained knife wounds to his left forearm.
“They were defensive stab wounds sustained as Michael Crinnion lunged towards him. The defendant also struck him on the back of his head.
“Mr Crinnion only stopped his assault on hearing garda sirens approach,” Garda Healy said.
Members of the garda armed support unit then found the accused man hiding nearby and there was blood on him from the attack.
Garda Healy said, “This was an unprovoked and violent attack on students on their way to town.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin asked if the accused had any relevant previous convictions. Garda Healy told him Crinnion had four previous convictions for assault, two for assault causing harm, two for carrying knives and two for firearms and ammunition. He also had numerous public order convictions.
“I believe he has a history of drug abuse and is in and out of prison for a substantial period of time. In effect he is in custody since October 2019,” Garda Healy said.
This incident occurred at 10.15 p.m. on October 27 2019.
Defence barrister, Emmet Boyle, said the 29-year-old was pleading guilty to a charge of assaulting the first student and assault causing harm to the student to the first victim’s assistance.
Mr Boyle said the accused was grossly intoxicated and had difficulties with mental health issues.
The judge said, “This is a worrying type of case. This man – for no reason – followed a number of students and assaulted them. He went to the scene with a knife. He attacked students and used the knife.
“Using a knife is a significant aggravating factor. It does not appear that rehabilitation is of any benefit,” the judge said.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed a three-year jail term, backdated to when Crinnion went into custody on October 27 2019.