A man who slashed two fellow homeless men with a Stanley blade in separate unprovoked and “savage” attacks on the same day has been jailed for five years.
Vincent Brady (34) of no fixed abode in Dublin, told gardaí he had smoked crystal meth on the day he accosted the two men in separate attacks in Rathmines, Dublin – slashing one man across the face in church grounds and slicing another to the back of the head after pushing him into the canal.
Brady pleaded guilty at Dublin Cricut Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm to his victims at locations in Rathmines on May 19th, 2021. The two incidents occurred within about 45 minutes of each other, Garda Rachel Corcoran told Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting.
CCTV footage was shown in court of Brady approaching his first victim, a homeless Romanian man who spent a lot of time on the church grounds and who received help and food from the priest there. After a brief altercation during which the victim tried to walk away, Brady produced the blade and sliced him across the face, leaving a six-centimetre wound.
The man received five stitches to his face as a result of the attack.
After fleeing the scene of the church, Brady walked down towards the canal, where a group of homeless people were living in tents. He saw his second victim sitting on a couch beside the tents and jumped over a wall to accost him, pushing him into the nearby canal in the process, the court heard.
The victim grabbed Brady as he entered the water, bringing him in with him. Once both men had climbed out of the water, Brady again accosted his victim, climbing on his back and slicing him across the back of his neck and head. The victim felt blood dripping down his neck before Brady fled the scene.
He was arrested a short while later by gardaí, who recognised him from CCTV footage taken at the church. Brady was also known to his second victim, who identified him to gardaí. He has 21 previous convictions, including assault, violent behaviour, criminal damage and public order offences.
Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Martin Nolan said Brady engaged in “savage attacks” against his victims, leaving them with disfiguring scars. “Scars prejudice people against other people,” the judge said. “People always wonder how they got those scars, and it is a burden.”
He noted Brady had a history of violence and “a violent disposition, particularly when intoxicated”.
He handed down a sentence of five years and backdated it to earlier this month when Brady went into custody.
Ian Woodlawn BL, defending, said his client had a troubled background and grew up with an alcoholic and violent mother. He spent a number of years in the UK before returning with his family to Ireland and became homeless after the deaths of his brother and mother.
Mr Woodlawn said his client was hoping to change his ways and pursue a career in horticulture upon his release from custody. He asked Judge Nolan to be as lenient as possible.