By Olivia Kelleher
A MAN with a chronic drinking addiction who stabbed his son eight times leading him to require emergency lifesaving surgery has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that that the victim, Gino Frahill, had made a plea for leniency for his 49-year-old father Leon.
Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said he understood that Gino Frahill desperately wanted his father Leon to ‘straighten himself out.’
However, he stressed that a non-custodial sentence was not an option for such a ‘frantic attack.’
Mr Frahill, a divorced father-of-three, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his son Gino – who is in his late twenties – at Glasslyn Road in Bandon on March 31st, 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to two charges of producing a knife on the same occasion.
The court heard from Det Garda Hugh Byrne that Gino Frahill incurred stab injuries at a bus stop in Bandon at 7.15am on the day of the offence.
Having stabbed his son eight times, Mr Frahill flagged down passing traffic in order to raise the alarm.
Mr Frahill, who at that time had an address in Harbour View, Cobh, was detained at Bandon Garda Station where he made full admissions. He was very apologetic for his actions.
Gino Frahill required surgery and blood transfusions for six chest wounds. He was in hospital for three days but made a full recovery.
The court heard that Leon Frahill has 35 previous convictions, primarily for public order offences, criminal damage and assault.
Judge Ó Donnabháin read a victim impact statement produced by the victim in the case.
He acknowledged that Gino didn’t want his father to go to jail. He said what Gino wanted to do for his father was ‘phenomenal’ but that Leon Frahill’s drinking problem was an ongoing issue which had never been addressed.
The judge said that Mr Frahill’s years of drinking had caused dysfunction and fractures to his relationships and that his son, Gino, was desperate for him to sort himself out.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said that Leon Frahill had a lot of drink in the hours before the assault and had produced a knife in front of two of his sons in an apartment in Bandon. When Leon went to talk to him on the street, he was stabbed.
Barrister for the defence, Patrick O’Riordan, said that his client had not attempted to cover anything up and had taken full responsibility for his behaviour. He said that Mr Frahill made full admissions from the start and had not come to garda attention since the incident.
He insisted that his client was engaging with Arbour House in connection with his alcoholism and that he was ‘very sorry’ for his actions.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said that it was a ‘truly sad and tragic case.’ He emphasised that Mr Frahill ‘could have killed his son.’
He stressed that excessive alcohol consumption and possession of knife was a ‘lethal combination.’
He said that he didn’t believe that the stabbing incident was in any way provoked and that only for ‘surgical intervention his (Leon’s) son could have died.’
‘It is a heartbreaking case. I do understand that this young fella doesn’t want his father to go to jail. All he wants is for him to straighten himself out.’
Taking the guilty pleas into account, he jailed Mr Frahill for two-and-a-half years. He ordered that Mr Frahill be treated for ongoing medical conditions whilst in custody.