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Man who stabbed victim seven times over cigarette lighter gets six years

CourtsBy Sunday World
A six-year sentence was handed down
A six-year sentence was handed down

A man who stabbed his victim seven times over a cigarette lighter, leaving him with a punctured lung, has been sentenced to six years.

Patrick Browne (26) also held knives to shop workers in a newsagent on Christmas Eve 2013 when he robbed the shop twice in the same day. He was dressed as a ghost during the first raid and a skeleton during the second.

Browne of Berryfield Road in Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Constantine Consier at Hickey’s Pharmacy, Phibsboro Shopping Centre, causing him harm on March 15, 2013.

He further pleaded guilty to robbing a total of €1,050 in cash from Daybreak on the New Cabra Road on two occasions on December 24, 2013.

Judge Martin Nolan said they were serious offences. He noted that Browne is “a big strong man” and must have been very frightening to his victims.

The judge said Browne clearly suffers from psychological problems but that he “could be termed a danger to society” and that a prison sentence must be imposed to protect people.

“Everyone knows the services in prison could be somewhat better,” the judge said. He ordered that Browne have access to all relevant psychiatric services in prison and that he be assessed by The Central Mental Hospital.

Noting Browne’s early guilty plea, admissions to gardaí and personal problems, Judge Nolan suspended the final two years of the term and ordered that he undergo two years probation supervision on his release.

Sergeant Patrick Keegan told Seamus Clarke BL, prosecuting, that Mr Consier was drinking with a group outside the shopping centre when Browne approached him asking him for a lighter.

Mr Consier said he didn’t have a lighter and Browne started to punch him. The victim ran to a nearby pharmacy and Browne followed him and stabbed him in the left wrist as he tried to defend himself.

When Mr Consier fell to the ground, Browne continued to stab him a further six times and started to kick him in the legs.

Security guards tried to help Mr Consier and gardaí were called. Browne was arrested a short time later at a bus stop and made admissions.

He told gardaí he had a lot to drink and that he became so enraged when Mr Consier did not give him a lighter that he stabbed him with a pen knife style key ring.

Mr Consier was brought to hospital and treated for the stab wounds which were several centimetres in length. He also was treated for a punctured lung.

Sgt Keegan agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that both men had consumed a lot of alcohol on the day and that Browne suffers serious mental health issues and has epilepsy.

Evidence was also given that at 3.18pm on December 24, 2013, Browne entered Daybreak on New Cabra Road wearing a white Halloween ghost mask and carrying an eight inch knife. He threatened the shop worker and warned him not to press the panic alarm or he would stab him.

He grabbed €150 from the cash register and fled, throwing the knife and mask at the back of Cabra Park.

Later that evening, Browne returned to the same shop wearing a white skull mask and carrying a 12 inch knife. He put the knife to another shop worker’s neck and told him he would kill him if he didn’t open the cash register. He made off with €900 in cash.

He was arrested a short time later and admitted the crime saying he needed money for drugs.

By Conor Gallagher