Man jailed for stabbing sister's ex-partner on Christmas Day

Man Jailed For Stabbing Sister's Ex-Partner On Christmas Day Man Jailed For Stabbing Sister's Ex-Partner On Christmas Day
The court heard the man emigrated to Australia after the incident to start a new life and lived there for five years before being extradited back to Ireland to face prosecution.
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Declan Brennan

A man has been jailed for stabbing his sister’s ex-partner who had shown up at the family home on Christmas Day after sending a series of threatening text messages.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on Christmas Eve 2013, Darren Brewster told Sean O’Boyle’s sister “you don't know what I'm capable of, I'll be up to the gaff tomorrow” and “I'll walk away with someone in a bad way”.  He later told her “Christmas will be major for your family this year”.

When Mr Brewster and his brother arrived at the O'Boyle family home in Tallaght on Christmas day, Sean O'Boyle (32) armed himself with a kitchen knife before walking out to confront the men.

The court heard that O'Boyle later told the Probation Service that he feared for the safety of his family when the men arrived and believed they were threatening and menacing.


His lawyers told the court that he accepts now that he became enraged and overreacted and that he feels genuinely remorseful for the injuries inflicted. The two men sustained life-threatening injuries to their lungs and were hospitalised.


O'Boyle of Allenton drive, Tallaght, pleaded guilty last June to assault causing harm to James Brewster and Darren Brewster at that address on December 25th, 2013.

The court heard that after the incident, O'Boyle emigrated to Australia to start a new life and lived there for five years before being extradited back to Ireland to face prosecution. He was originally charged with the more serious charges of causing serious harm.

Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, told Judge Martin Nolan that the pleas to the lesser charges were accepted by the DPP in the context of the text messages sent by Darren Brewster.

Ciaran O'Loughlin BL, defending, said these texts could amount to provocation and to a legal defence at trial of self-defence.

Detective Garda Kieran McGrath told the court that Brewster was later charged with harassment in relation to these texts, but the prosecution did not proceed as the complainant left for Australia.

Contact with Gardaí

The court heard there had been previous incidents of threats and intimidation and that Darren Brewster had come to the house before and caused disruption.

Detective McGrath told the court that O'Boyle has no other criminal convictions.

Mr O'Loughlin described the messages from Darren Brewster as gravely threatening and said the O'Boyle family had contacted Gardaí before the Brewsters arrived at the house.

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Judge Nolan commented that it was unfortunate they did not get to the house in time.

He said these were two serious assaults and that, to some degree, the DPP had already considered “the level of provocation and actions of the Brewsters” by reducing the charges against O'Boyle.

Judge Nolan said he could accept that if it was not for the context on the day O'Boyle would not have involved himself in criminal behaviour, but he said it would be overly lenient not to impose a jail term and sentenced O'Boyle to 18 months imprisonment.

He said O'Boyle could be facing a 10-year prison term on the more serious charge and that by pleading to assault causing harm he had “limited the downside from his point of view”.

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