By Declan Brennan
A man has been jailed for stabbing his sister’s ex-partner who had shown up at the family home on Christmas day after sending a series of threatening text messages.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on Christmas eve 2013, Darren Brewster told Sean O’Boyle’s sister “you don’t know what I’m capable of, I’ll be up to the gaff tomorrow” and “I’ll walk away with someone in a bad way”.
He later told her “Christmas will be major for your family this year” and “I’ll do two years ya knacker”.
When Mr Brewster and his brother arrived at the O’Boyle family home in Tallaght on Christmas day, Sean O’Boyle (32) armed himself with a kitchen knife before walking out to confront the men.
The court heard that O’Boyle later told the Probation Service that he feared for the safety of his family when the men arrived and believed they were threatening and menacing.
His lawyers told the court that he accepts now that he became enraged and overreacted and that he feels genuinely remorseful for the injuries inflicted.
The two men sustained life threatening injuries to their lungs and were hospitalised.
O’Boyle of Allenton drive, Tallaght, pleaded guilty last June to assault causing harm to James Brewster and Darren Brewster at that address on December 25, 2013.
The court heard that after the incident O’Boyle emigrated to Australia to start a new life and lived there for five years before being extradited back here to face prosecution.
He was originally charged with the more serious charges of causing serious harm.
Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, told Judge Martin Nolan that the pleas to the lesser charges were accepted by the DPP in the context of the text messages sent by Darren Brewster.
Ciaran O’Loughlin BL, defending, said that these texts could amount to provocation and to a legal defence at trial of self defence.
Detective Garda Kieran McGrath told the court that Brewster was later charged with harassment in relation to these texts, but the prosecution did not proceed as the complainant left for Australia.
The court heard that there had been previous incidents of threats and intimidation and that Darren Brewster had come to the house before and caused disruption.
Dt Gda McGrath told the court that O’Boyle has no other criminal convictions.
Mr O’Loughlin described the messages from Darren Brewster as gravely threatening.
He said that the O’Boyle family had contacted gardai before the Brewsters arrived at the house.
Judge Nolan commented that it was unfortunate that they did not get down to the house in time.
He said that these were two serious assaults.
He said that to some degree the DPP had already taken into account “the level of provocation and actions of the Brewsters” by reducing the charges against O’Boyle.
Judge Nolan said that he could accept that if it was not for the context on the day O’Boyle would not have involved himself in criminal behaviour.
But he said it would be overly lenient not to impose a prison term and he sentenced O’Boyle to 18 months imprisonment.
He said that O’Boyle could be facing a ten year prison term on the more serious charge and that by pleading to assault causing harm he had “limited the downside from his point of view”.