Dublin man jailed after blinding victim during dispute between neighbours

Luke Strong (25) pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Saul Road on September 6th, 2021
Dublin man jailed after blinding victim during dispute between neighbours

Jessica Magee

A Dublin man has been sentenced to three years in prison after he blinded another man during a dispute between neighbours, by throwing a shard from a broken ceramic bowl into his eye.

Luke Strong (25), of Saul Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Saul Road on September 6th, 2021.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday, Judge Martin Nolan noted that Strong had not initiated the dispute and had never expected to cause such injuries.

Judge Nolan said Strong had expressed remorse and pleaded guilty, but said it had been “reckless” to throw a shard of ceramic and Strong deserved a custodial term.

The judge said the victim, who is 59, had lost sight in one eye and suffered serious injury as a result of the attack.

'Shouting down the phone'

Garda Sorcha Daly told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that the background to the incident was an ongoing dispute between the injured party's sister and her neighbours.

On the day in question, this woman called her brother and was “shouting down the phone” about her neighbour's car blocking a driveway, the court heard.

The injured party, who lived nearby, went to his sister's house and saw Strong running in and out of the house next door, at one point carrying a hammer and threatening him.

The victim later told gardaí that he saw Strong's arm go up and then felt something hit him in the left eye. His eye filled with blood and he felt an instant pain radiating to the back of his temple, the victim said.

He saw pieces of a white bowl and realised he had been hit in the eye with a ceramic shard. The victim was taken to St James' Hospital for treatment, but his eyesight deteriorated and he lost all vision in his left eye.

A victim impact report was handed in to court but was not read aloud.

Strong had 53 previous convictions, including threats to kill, producing articles during disputes, robbery and criminal damage.

John Fitzgerald SC, defending, said that Strong had a particularly chaotic background and was in care since he was 13. Both of Strong's parents were drug addicts and Strong himself had begun to abuse drugs and drink since he was 13, counsel said.

However, Mr Fitzgerald said his client has largely addressed his drug problems and was determined to support his partner and their three young children when he gets out of prison.

Counsel said Strong was “surprised and horrified” by the level of harm he had caused and had expressed his very great remorse. Strong's partner wrote a letter to court which Judge Nolan described as “impressive”.

The three-year sentence was backdated to March 4th, 2022, when Strong went into custody.

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