A man was left fighting for his life after being violently stabbed four times, the Galway Circuit Court heard this week.
The foot long blade wielded by Billy McGinley inflicted one wound so deep that the victim’s bowels were left hanging out of his abdomen.
The 36-year-old man with an address at 118 Claremont Park, Rahoon, was sentenced last Monday to five years in prison with the last two years suspended. In May of this year McGinley had entered a plead of guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Darren Johnson on September 3, 2008.
Detective Sgt Tom Molloy told the court this week that at 6.57am on September 3 2008 he received a call that Mr Johnson had been stabbed and was lying on the footpath at the junction to Circular Road and Rahoon Road. Mr Johnson who had “serious abdominal injuries” was taken to hospital by ambulance and McGinley was arrested at his home at 9.24am and taken to Galway Garda station.
Det Sgt Molloy said that the injured party and McGinley had first met on August 11 and that both had an addiction to heroin. On September 2, the two men had met again to purchase drugs at 8.30pm. They went to McGinley’s home and had consumed all the drugs by 1am. The men went to sleep and at 6.30am on September 3 the injured party was woken up by McGinley who demanded money.
They both went downstairs where McGinley produced a foot long blade and Mr Johnson was stabbed four times, once in the stomach, once in the back, and twice in the head. The court heard that one wound had gone so deep that part of the bowel was left hanging out, an injury which had been deemed initially as life threatening, however, medics were able to control the bleeding and repaired the wound. The court also heard that a piece of metal — believed to be the tip of the knife — was found lodged in the victim’s scalp.
Det Sgt Molloy said that Mr Johnson, who is now in Wales, has made a full recovery and just wanted to get on with his life.
Referring to the accused’s background State prosecutor Conor Fahy said that McGinley has a “long career of robbery and assault crimes”.
Defence counsel Paul Flannery SC said that there were two versions of events and that money was owed, however it was unclear to whom it was owed. He said that his client explained there had been an argument over debt of €12,000 and that the injured party was an “enforcer”.
After hearing the evidence Judge Raymond Groarke said that the serious wounds had been inflicted on Mr Johnson with a “degree of force” and that McGinley has a “dreadful record of violence”. He then said that McGinley has a high risk of re-offending and imposed a five year sentence with the final two suspended on condition that he enter into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three years following his release.