A psychiatric nurse has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for stabbing three people following an 18th birthday party at a neighbouring house.
Brian Quinn (46) formerly of Deer Park Avenue, Kiltipper, Tallaght, now living in Balbriggan, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Stephen Keogh, Lee Harte and James Toner Senior on October 9, 2011.
He had further pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Kurtis Lennon, James Toner Junior and Robert Ryan and production of a knife on the same date.
The jury of two women and nine men convicted Quinn following a trial last November on the charge of seriously assaulting Mr Harte and assaulting Mr Lennon and Mr Toner Junior causing them harm. He was also convicted of production of a knife.
Quinn was acquitted of the remaining charges.
Judge Carmel Stewart today imposed an eight year sentence.
“This was a serious offence where a knife was used by Mr Quinn,” said Judge Stewart. “He was a psychiatric nurse trained in restraint techniques and yet chose to use knife.”
“The factors which mitigate the gravity of the offence are that he co-operated with gardai and made admissions. He has no previous convictions and it was said to be out of character in testimonials from family, former work colleagues and friends.”
“Even a person of good character must expect his own life to be effected – offences involving knife attacks are to be taken seriously,” said Judge Stewart.
A number of victim impact statements were read to the court by Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting,
“Mr Harte has become reclusive and paranoid and doesn’t go out – he is reactive if anyone comes near him.”
“Kurtis Lennon has been affected in terms of confidence. He doesn’t go out as much or go to parties. He is not as carefree as he once was and has a scar at his ribs but is trying to get on with his life.”
“James Toner junior has had to get some counseling.”
Giollaiosa O’Lideadha SC, defending, read a number of testimonials written by co-workers and family of the accused.
He read that his client ‘was a pleasure to work with’ and that the ‘service has lost one of its finest nurses’.
Mr Quinn’s stepchildren said he had ‘supported them practically through education giving feedback on their work’ saying he made an ‘important contribution to the happiness of the family’.
A testimonial by his brother described a ‘difficult early childhood’ during which his brother Brian ‘looked after him and helped him throughout the years’.
In a letter of reflection written by Mr Quinn in prison he described the ‘suffering’ he has experienced ‘physically and emotionally’ and how he was ‘dismayed to hear the seriousness of the injuries’ – that he would ‘never intentionally cause any harm to any other person’.
Source: Neil Fetherston, “Psychiatric nurse sentenced to eight years for stabbing three people following an 18th birthday party, Sunday World, March 10, 2014.