Man attacks unwanted guests with tomahawk

A man who attacked a visitor to his house with a tomahawk or machete-style knife has been given a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Garda Ian Bradley described how the victim went to the house then being rented by Carl Quinn, where a third person had invited him to a party.

However, Quinn, who has an address at 9 Derravarra Court, Castlepollard, was in bed with his partner at the time and told the man to leave.

During the discussion, the 22-year-old produced a knife described as both a tomahawk and a machete and struck the man with it on the hand, requiring a total of nine stitches at the base of his thumb

The victim told the garda he was injured while protecting his face. Quinn said he had grabbed the knife, which was not recovered in the subsequent Garda investigation. No permanent damage was done to the victim, the garda said.

However Garda Bradley disputed that damage to the front door had been caused when the victim kicked it in, saying the damage was the result of a previous incident at the house.

In the witness box, Carl Quinn said there had been no party, that he had been asleep in bed with his heavily pregnant girlfriend when the victim arrived with two other people who came upstairs after smashing the front door.

When they arrived at the bedroom, he took down an ornamental sword from the wall to scare them and chased them down into the back hall, but not before they “destroyed the house”.

He tried to push them out the back door and it was then that the man grabbed the knife.

Under cross examination by Superintendent John Gantly he insisted the knife had been an ornament, not something he used for protection.

He also pleaded guilty to causing €215 damage to a litter bin at a Westmeath County Council site in Castlepollard on January 11 last year.

A heroin addict, he has been clean for one week, the court heard, and is awaiting psychiatric assessment. He is currently undergoing counselling.

Judge Timothy Lucey said he accepted the garda’s version of events, saying that as a heroin addict, Carl Quinn’s memory would not be as good.

“It’s serious to be tangling with a machete,” he said, reminding Quinn that most people have mobile phones and would have phoned gardaí in that situation.

He imposed a three month jail sentence for assault causing harm to the victim but suspended it for one year on condition he keep the peace and continue attending community addiction services.


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