Man gets five years for knife attack on his wife

by Gazette Reporter
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By Fiona Ferguson and Eimear Dodd

A husband who stabbed his wife three times after she asked him to leave their home following a row about his drinking has been jailed for five years.

Philip Byrne (41) was pulled off his wife by a painter working at the house after stabbing her in the abdomen but he managed to get free and stab her twice more,  Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Byrne, with an address at Levmoss Park, The Gallops, Leopardstown pleaded guilty to assault, threatening to kill or cause serious harm, production of a kitchen knife and false imprisonment at the family home on December 2, 2020.

Sentencing Byrne, Judge Melanie Greally said the assault had been “potentially life-threatening”.

She said there are several aggravating factors including Byrne’s previous convictions and the nature of the offence.

The court was previously told that the woman required surgery on her hand to have the nerves and tendons reattached and suffered permanent nerve damage. She received eight stitches to the wound on her abdomen and five on her breast. Medical evidence was presented to the court.

Byrne has 39 previous convictions, including for assault and possession of a firearm, has been in custody since his arrest.

Judge Greally noted mitigating factors included Byrne’s expressions of remorse and shame, his poor mental health, and the positive steps he has taken since going into custody.

She also noted that Byrne holds a position of responsibility within the prison’s laundry and is a volunteer with the Samaritans.

Judge Greally said that a probation report found the defendant is at high risk of re-offending and engaging in harmful behaviour in an intimate personal relationship.

She handed Byrne a sentence of seven years in relation to the count of false imprisonment.

Suspending the final two years of the sentence, the judge directed Byrne to follow the directions of the Probation Services for two years upon his release.

Byrne must also disclose any intimate interpersonal relationship and comply with any safeguarding measures.

Judge Greally imposed separate three and a half year sentences for the three remaining counts. She backdated all sentences to December 3, 2020.

The court heard the couple have since reconciled. His wife indicated she wished to withdraw her statement and made another statement saying it was accidental. She did not submit a victim impact statement.

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