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masked attack Two men convicted of horror attack where victim had his fingers chopped off with a 'machete'

The index finger was reattached but after a number of months it had to be amputated at the lower knuckle because of repeated infections.

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Keith Dunne

Keith Dunne

Keith Dunne

TWO men have been found guilty of an assault in Offaly which resulted in a Kildare man losing half of his ring finger.

Craig Connolly (30), Kinnefad, Edenderry, had denied assaulting Keith Dunne, causing him serious harm, and he had also pleaded not guilty to being in possession of a pull saw at the time of the offence on June 18, 2020.

A co-accused, Sean Dillon (42), St Brigid's Road, Edenderry, denied assaulting Mr Dunne causing him serious harm, and it was the State's case that he acted in common design with Mr Connolly or aided and abetted the other defendant.

A seven-day trial at Tullamore Circuit Court heard that Mr Dunne (36), a construction worker, was holding a barrier at JKL Street, Edenderry to prevent debris from going out onto the road while his employer was breaking concrete on a footpath.

A hooded man who was wearing a face mask came from across the street and struck Mr Dunne on his hard hat with what he thought was a machete.

The blow bounced from the hard hat onto his nose and then another downward strike resulted in fingers on Mr Dunne's left hand being severed.

The index finger was reattached but after a number of months it had to be amputated at the lower knuckle because of repeated infections.

The blade of a Japanese pull saw, 37cm long and with teeth on both edges, was found at the scene and forensic tests showed that it had a partial palm print which matched Mr Connolly and blood which matched Mr Dunne.

Mr Dunne had told the court he identified the attacker by a unibrow and a scar on his forehead.

Mr Dunne also said he knew Mr Connolly who was at the time in a relationship with Sophie Judge, the mother of Mr Dunne's child.

In interviews with gardai after his arrest, Mr Connolly denied ever meeting Mr Dunne and said he had been drinking all that day, a Thursday, and continued drinking until Sunday.

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