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Men stabbed with kitchen knife in unprovoked attack

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One of two men stabbed with a kitchen knife in an unprovoked attack in Kiltimagh said he has told a court that thought he was going to die.
In a victim impact statement read at Castlebar Circuit Court, Jonathan McNicholas who was attacked with a knife by Jamie Kilbane of 2 Rathdubh, Newport Rd, Castlebar, said he said goodbye to his mother and girlfriend on the night, believing he would never see them again.  
Victim impact statements from two victims, Mr McNicholas and Joseph O’Keefe were made following the attacks on August 14, 2016.
Mr Kilbane pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm.
Garda Kenneth Barrett told the court that at 12.30am on the night in question, Mr Kilbane was sitting outside his residence near The Square, Kiltimagh, when the two men walked by with females. ‘Salutations’ were exchanged, and Mr Kilbane went to his house and got a large kitchen knife, before stabbing the two men.
Mr O’Keefe suffered a laceration to his upper arm, while Mr McNicholas suffered two deep lacerations to his scalp, which also went down his face and suffered lacerations to his right upper arm, and back. Kilbane was arrested following the assaults. However, due to his intoxicated state he was deemed not fit to be interviewed. The following day his memory of the event was described as ‘sketchy’.
In his victim impact statement, Mr McNicholas described the ‘horrific pain’ he was in while lying in a pool of blood, and his parents’ experience of being told he was stabbed.
Mr McNicholas said he was a ‘shell’ of his former self, and though he ‘suffers in silence’ he is reminded of the attack every day when he looks in the mirror at his scars.
Joseph O’Keefe said he feels pain through the multiple stab wounds and has ‘visible scarring’. He added that he also lost out on five weeks pay while recovering and had to pay medical expenses.
The court heard that Kilbane (29) served a previous prison term for assaulting a publican in 2015 and that he has three other previous convictions.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that though he was aware that Kilbaine had a difficult background and upbringing, he deemed the use of a knife on two people to be ‘particularly serious’.
Defending barrister Diarmuid Connolly said the father of one suffers with anxiety and is a ‘vulnerable person’ who was in protected custody while serving the previous prison sentence.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence but noted that Kilbane had taken positive steps in putting his life in order and because of this, he sentenced him to three years in prison, suspending the final two years.

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