A GAA player who stabbed a fellow Northern Ireland expat in the heart during a drink-fuelled fight in Australia has been jailed for six years.
Paul Anthony Fox attacked his friend Robert Corrigan after going to his house armed with two knives during the early hours of Easter Sunday morning.
The two men, who are both from Tyrone, had been living in Adelaide, South Australia.
A court had previously heard that Mr Corrigan (23), from Galbally, would have died but for medical intervention after being rushed to hospital. He now lives in pain, lacks confidence and has been forced to give up two jobs.
Passing sentence yesterday, Australian Supreme Court Judge Michael David said Fox’s actions could have been fatal. “Another young man came within an inch of his life being lost... your actions were violent and dangerous and caused great damage to your victim — thankfully he did not die,” he said.
Last week Fox (24), who is originally from Clonoe, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Corrigan on April 8. The court heard the pair had been involved in a confrontation in the popular Hindley Street area of Adelaide city centre earlier that night.
Defence barrister David Edwardson admitted his client was armed with two knives when he went to the Flinders Park house where Mr Corrigan lived with four other Irishmen.
Judge David imposed a non-parole period of three years, taking into account Fox’s guilty plea and his prior unblemished criminal record.
There has been a massive surge in Irish migration to Australia in recent years, partly caused by the dire state of the economy which has prompted many to look for opportunities abroad. Records show around 50,000 Irish are currently in Australia, including 12,000 living there permanently.