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Probation bond Man (21) spared jail over attempted hunting knife attack

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Stock image: Court

Stock image: Court

Stock image: Court

A 21-year-old Dublin man with mental health difficulties has been spared a sentence for attempting to stab a youth in the neck with a hunting knife in a terrifying unprovoked attack.

John Connolly from Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin, was sentenced to 12 months’ supervised probation.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, and producing a knife in a manner likely to intimidate or capable of inflicting serious injury.

The incident happened close to his home on April 17, 2017, Dublin Children’s Court heard.

He was 17 at the time but had reached adulthood and lost the right to anonymity by the time the case went to court.

In evidence, Garda Christopher Byrne said the victim was with a girl when Connolly came around the corner with another male.

The victim knew him from when they were younger.

Connolly swung a blade, described as being like a long handled hunting knife, at him.

The victim was certain the accused was using his full strength to put the knife into his neck”. He tried two more times and then head butted the victim until he was pulled back by another person at the scene.

He shouted at him “you know what you did” as he walked away, the court heard.

The victim had a wound but did not seek medical attention.

Garda Byrne agreed the accused co-operated with the investigation.

Pleading for leniency, the defence said the accused had been diagnosed with depression at a young age. He had left school at 16 and alcohol became an issue for him, his barrister said.

The court heard he has not come to Garda attention since the incident.

A probation report stated he was at high risk of re-offending due to substance misuse and lack of structured activities.

However, the report also stated his needs were met by psychiatric services.

He had no prior criminal convictions.

The court heard the victim has “moved on with his life” and is in college.

Judge Brendan Toale described it as a serious and terrifying attack which seemed unprovoked.

Imposing a probation bond, he said the defendant’s needs were best dealt with through psychiatric services.

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