A man was lucky to survive as the glass bottle he was “savagely” attacked with narrowly missed cutting a major blood vessel in his neck, the Galway Circuit Court heard this week.
The 23-year-old man responsible for the attack, which took place during a christening party, was sentenced to three years in jail when he appeared before Judge Raymond Groarke last Tuesday. Yaw Oppong Anakwa, currently of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty to assaulting Frank Kamara at Ballybane on July 26, 2009.
Garda Stephen Joyce gave evidence that at 1.50am gardai were called to the scene of a house party. There had been a number of guests and a dispute arose between the accused and Mr Kamara. Anakwa left the house but later returned with a broken beer bottle and “savagely” stabbed the injured party in the neck. As a result the injured party spent two days in hospital, underwent surgery, had 16 stictches, and is now left with a permanent scar. The court heard that when the injured party arrived at hospital there was profuse bleeding from facial wounds and slight bleeding from the neck.
“He was very lucky, it nearly caught a major blood vessel,” noted Judge Groarke.
Garda Joyce went on to explain that Anakwa and the injured party knew each other and had been attending a christening along with 40 or 50 other guests.
State barrister Conor Fahy said that witnesses described Anakwa as being very drunk and aggressive and that he had been asked to leave.
Garda Joyce then said that Anakwa, a Ghana national, had given an address in Glen Dara but he had called there a number of times and the accused was never there. Garda Joyce then said that he had no address for Anakwa. The court heard that Anakwa, who came to Ireland in September 2004, had 13 previous convictions which include public order offences, a number of hit and runs, and theft.
Mr Kamara, a 40-year-old Sierra Leone national, then took the witness stand and told the court that as a result of the attack he can no longer lift his left arm as he used to. He said that his neck is in “constant pain” and there is a lump over his left ear.
Defence barrister Aisling Wall said that her client fully accepts the serious harm that he has caused. She said that words had been exchanged and that Anakwa “felt wronged” at the time but he now accepts that alcohol does not suit him and that he can’t behave in that way. Ms Wall said that Anakwa’s mother had come to Ireland in 2000 and moved her family over in 2004. Anakwa attended school here and was employed for two years after leaving school but lost that job and things went downhill for him. Ms Wall said that Anakwa is now in a positive relationship with a girl and that his mother is also a positive influence in his life. Regarding Anakwa’s status in the country, Ms Wall said that his permit has been withdrawn and that it is uncertain what his status will be after completion of his sentence.
“It is clear that the accused returned with premeditation, with a weapon, and gave multiple blows,” said Judge Groarke, who imposed a sentence of three years in jail, backdated to July 27, 2009.