Judge sends 'cowardly' stab-in-back man to prison
A man who stabbed another man three times in the back, inflicting life-threatening injuries on his victim during an alcohol-fuelled brawl inside and outside a house, was jailed for eight years at the Crown Court in Londonderry.
Judge Philip Babington told the defendant, John Paul O'Rourke (46) from Glengrainne Gardens in Park, that his actions in attacking his victim from behind were cowardly.
O'Rourke also kicked his 45-year-old victim three times to the head and head-butted him after he'd stabbed him.
O'Rourke pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent following the incidents which occurred outside and inside a house at Summer Meadows in the Waterside area of the city in the early hours of July 20, 2014.
The court was told that the victim sustained two punctured lungs and would have died but for the fact that he received immediate treatment for his injuries in an operating theatre in Altnagelvin Hospital.
Hours before the incident the victim had visited at least three bars on Derry's cityside and in one of them he met O'Rourke whom he knew and both of them consumed what Judge Babington described as a great deal of alcohol. Several people, including O'Rourke and his victim, then went to the Summer Meadows house where a row broke out and the attack took place.
Judge Babington told O'Rourke, who is originally from Limerick, that threats made by the victim did not justify his subsequent aggressive and violent behaviour.