Garda says knife case ‘could have had a different outcome’

March 18th, 2021 5:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Defendant had ‘troubled background’

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A MAN watching a film at a friend’s house in Dunmanway was chased by another who had a knife, a court has heard.

Mark Foley (29) of 6 Old Barrack Road, Bantry, pleaded guilty to a number of charges at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of producing a knife at East Green, Dunmanway on November 3rd 2018 and also to a charge of simple assault on Mariusc Wozniak (40). The defendant also admitted to engaging in threatening behaviour.

Garda Kevin Kennedy told the court that the injured party went to a friend’s house in Dunmanway to watch a movie. Foley called to the house, and said insulting things to Mr Wozniak.

Mr Wozniak left the house but Foley followed him, assaulted him, and chased him with a ten-inch knife.

‘He almost nicked his throat on numerous occasions,’ said the garda. ‘Mr Wozniak managed to avoid the knife and run home. Thankfully, the knife did not contact Mr Wozniak. Otherwise we would be here for a different kind of case.’

The judge was told that Foley was identified on CCTV but had said ‘no comment’ when questioned.

The injured party, a Polish national, has been living in Ireland since 2005, and said he always got on well with everyone, but on that night he thought he was in danger of being killed.

‘I tried everything to calm him down,’ he said of the defendant, in a victim impact statement. ‘I am sad about it. I never deserved it. I love Ireland. It is the first place I got my own home. When Mark Foley attacked me, he broke that trust.’

Barrister Ben Shorten said his client Mr Foley came from a ‘troubled background’ and had addiction problems since he was 13.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin commented that the accused was offered various supports and assistance through the probation service, but he had not taken them up, and hadn’t even turned up to some appointments.

When the adjourned case came before the judge a few days later, he told Mr Foley that he was to ‘stay out of Clonakilty’ as he adjourned sentencing him until April 14th.

Foley was released from jail last week by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Ó Donnabháin had remanded the young man in custody since the first court case, as he was concerned that he would return to live in West Cork. The judge was told last week that Foley is now welcome to stay at his mother’s house on Model Farm Road in Cork city, until the April court date.

The judge said: ‘I will release him on bail on condition that he resides with his mother and engages in counselling before the end of the week. He is to stay out of Clonakilty.’

Foley told the judge that he was keen to undertake an anger management programme. Judge Ó Donnabháin said the defendant had a number of issues to address. Originally he was under the influence when he was talking to his female probation officer, the judge said.

Defence barrister, Ben Shorten, accepted that the probation report was a curate’s egg but that the young man was prepared to address his difficulties and engage in counselling.

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