Man jailed for 15 years over attempted murder of woman
Updated / Tuesday, 26 Apr 2022 13:00
A Dublin man who pleaded guilty in January at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of woman has been jailed for 15 years.
Sinead Connolly was shot three times in front of her young daughter as she sat on her sofa at Bernard Curtis House apartments in Bluebell, Dublin, in March of last year. She suffered paralysis below the chest as a result of her injuries.
Dean McCarthy, 33, of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, had pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Ms Connolly on 6 March 2021.
The court had heard that McCarthy “burst into” Ms Connolly’s home with a gun and repeatedly shot his neighbour – someone he has known since childhood.
Sentencing McCarthy today, Mr Justice Paul McDermott had set the headline sentence at 21 years in prison before considering the mitigating factors. He said the circumstances of the case were “shocking” and the consequences “devastating” for Ms Connolly.
He added: “She sustained injuries which appear to doctors are unlikely to be reversible and that would change her life and that indeed is the case. She has suffered the most catastrophic injuries and almost died. Her life expectancy has been reduced and she has a permanent injury, that is the devastation caused by this case.”
The judge said the extreme nature of the violence which erupted in the residential area, the “simmering undercurrent” of threats and bullying by McCarthy on the victim in the lead up to the shooting and the fact that a loaded firearm was summoned by the defendant within minutes was “not the situation that any community should be subjected to”.
In her victim impact statement earlier this month, Ms Connolly called McCarthy “an evil, sadistic and cowardly bully”. She said: “Dean McCarthy is a danger to society. He tried to kill me and even though he didn’t he has obliterated both mine and my family’s life. He deserves the severest punishment in law.”
The court has heard that in the lead-up to the shooting, McCarthy had subjected Ms Connolly to a campaign of abuse.
McCarthy also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, and to having in his possession Luger Barnaul ammunition.
The court heard that Ms Connolly sustained a ballistic wound resulting in a burst fracture of the T3 vertebra and required surgical fixation of her spinal fractures.
As a result of this injury, she is paraplegic and has a neurogenic bladder and bowel. She requires a wheelchair for all mobility and needs to use alternate methods to manage her bladder and bowel. Her life expectancy is also reduced by the injury and she will remain with all of the above impairments.
McCarthy was sentenced to 16 years in prison with the final year suspended for a period of two years. It was backdated to when he went into custody on 30 April 2021.
He was also sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of the firearm and six years for possession of ammunition. These sentences are to run concurrently with the sentence imposed for the charge of attempted murder.