Unprovoked street attack left victim with 43 stitches and a scar

By Sonya McLean 

A man has been jailed for an unprovoked street attack which left his victim with a permanent disfiguring facial scar.

The victim, Martin Wall, needed 43 stitches to his head and face after Michael Hanrahan slashed him with a Stanley blade.

Dublin Courts-4

Hanrahan (35) of Mac Uilliam Parade,Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Mr Wall on Henry Street in Dublin on April 30, 2014. He has 68 previous convictions for road traffic, assault, burglary, criminal damage and assaulting a garda.

In a victim impact report Mr Wall stated that he was not a criminal but the scar he had been left with was usually associated with people who had been in custody and normally informants. “People assume I have been up to no good,” the statement continued.

Judge Martin Nolan said Hanrahan had attacked Mr Wall by slashing out with a blade, cutting his head, nose, lip and face. He said the victim had been left with “a very apparent disfiguring scar which will have a long-term effect on him.”

“Most people look at things in a superficial way. We decide in our minds that in some way that person deserved it,” Judge Nolan said. He described it as an attack that Mr Wall “certainly didn’t deserve” and the injuries were “a burden to carry”.

He jailed Hanrahan for three years and nine months having commented that the injuries sustained were significant enough to warrant the accused being charged with a more serious offence.

Garda Nicola Connolly told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that she responded to the call about an attack at 4pm and found Mr Wall being treated by ambulance staff in a nearby shopping centre. He said he had been walking with two other men on Henry Street when a man he didn’t know punched one of the men before attacking him with a knife.

The man who had been with him said he recognised Hanrahan but only knew his first name. He said the man punched him to the right side of his face before he swiped at Mr Wall with a blade.

Garda Connolly said gardaí gathered CCTV footage from the area and Hanrahan was identified by a colleague. He was arrested the following November.

He admitted that although he didn’t know the victim, he knew one of the men with him from prison. He denied having a blade.

Dominic McGinn SC, defending, told Judge Nolan that Hanrahan accepted there was no justification for his attack on Mr Wall and apologised for it. He said his client recognised the injury the man had sustained was “life-changing” and accepted responsibility for it.

Counsel acknowledged that Hanrahan had a chequered background and convictions for violence that involved weapons.

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