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Gardai catch man slashing face of acquaintance with Stanley knife

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A man who was caught by gardaí slashing the cheek of an acquaintance in broad daylight will be sentenced next October.

Darren Gallagher (46) was spotted by Garda Dominic Dowling slicing his victim, who is “known to gardaí”, with a Stanley blade outside a supermarket before “casually walking” away.

It was 4pm and the plain clothes garda was on routine patrol at the time.

Gallagher was stopped minutes later and a knife was found in his tracksuit bottoms.

He later claimed in garda interview that the victim had threatened both him and members of his family, although Gda Dowling said he was not in a position to confirm if this was the case.

The garda agreed with Anne-Marie Lawlor BL, prosecuting that he called to the victim's home that day and could see the cut to his face. He said the man had never made a statement to gardaí and had been “unwilling to engage” with the investigation. He has not prepared a victim impact statement.

Gda Dowling said he was not aware if the man ever sought medical assistance but confirmed that although the cut had healed, he did have a noticeable scar.

Gallagher of St Ronan's Park, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the man on Neilstown Road, also Clondalkin, on August 22, 2016. He has three previous convictions for minor offences.

Judge Karen O'Connor said the court had grave concerns that this attack had been carried out in public in broad daylight when members of the local community could have been in the vicinity. She noted that Gallagher had walked away casually from the scene.

She adjourned sentencing to October 17 next, remanded Gallagher on continuing bail and ordered a probation report for the next date.

Gda Dowling agreed with Jennifer Jackson BL, defending, that Gallagher had not come to garda attention since 1990, the last recorded conviction against him.

He accepted that the victim was “known to gardaí” and he wasn't refusing to co-operate with the investigation because he was in fear of Gallagher.

Ms Jackson submitted that her client's plea of guilty was of assistance to the prosecution considering the position the victim took in relation to the investigation.

She suggested it was a once-off incident that was out of character for her client and Gda Dowling confirmed that he believed Gallagher was unlikely to come before the courts again.