Waterford man who stabbed victim twice in the face awaits appeal decision

Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Waterford man who stabbed victim twice in the face awaits appeal decision

Waterford man who stabbed victim twice in the face awaits appeal decision

A Waterford youth who broke a bottle before stabbing a man twice in the face must wait to hear whether his three-year jail term will be increased following an appeal. 

Patrick Harty (21), with a last address at Shandon Halting Site, Dungarvan, Waterford, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm at a house party in the county on New Year's Eve, 2014. He also pleaded guilty to an unprovoked assault on a man in Waterford on September 1, 2015.

Harty was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Eugene O’Kelly on October 28, 2016. He was given a concurrent 12 month jail term for the second assault and no compensation order was made.

The Director of Public Prosecutions are seeking a review of Harty's sentence on grounds it was "unduly lenient". The Court of Appeal reserved it's judgment and will deliver it on Monday. 

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noel Whelan SC, said the attack was distinguished by it's viciousness. 

Mr Whelan said Harty had been causing trouble at a party he wasn't invited to. He was asked to leave and the injured party was trying to calm things down. When the injured party turned his back on him, Harty went around to stab him in the eye with a broken bottle. He stabbed him a second time to the face with the broken bottle. After three “dramatic” medical procedures, the injured party was left without the use of his right eye. 

Mr Whelan submitted that the sentencing judge fixed the headline sentence for the serious assault at six-and-a-half years before mitigating the tariff down to four-and-a-half years, due to Harty's guilty plea, his youth and remorse, before suspending the final 18 months.

He said the sentencing judge "mitigated, suspended and made concurrent," falling into error at each step.

He said Harty didn't just impulsively strike out with a bottle he happened to have in his hands but broke the bottle, turning it into an even more dangerous weapon, before striking twice. 

Counsel for Harty, Sara Phelan SC, said the sentence was lenient but not unduly lenient. 

In mitigation was Harty's youth - he was 17 at the time of the first attack and 18 at the time of the second attack - his remorse and "difficult upbringing”.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Ms Justice Maire Whelan and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court would reserve its judgment and deliver it on Monday next.