Man who slashed transvestite's throat gets five-year sentence

 

A HOMELESS man who slashed the throat of a Filipino transvestite four days after they had sex has been sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Desmond Hogan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Vincent Murtagh (23) met the victim, a male nurse, dressed in a miniskirt, high heels and make-up on June 23rd, 2007, while he was leaving Zanzibar nightclub in Dublin city centre.

Murtagh, who is now living in Stanhope Green, Stanhope Street, Dublin, complimented him on what a beautiful woman he was before the nurse invited Murtagh back to this apartment. The victim revealed he was a man and they engaged in sexual acts.

The accused left the next morning when the victim’s friends arrived for a Gay Pride Parade.

Garda Damien Egan told prosecuting counsel Vincent Heneghan that the nurse was having a bath when Murtagh returned on June 27th. He let him in and resumed his bath. Garda Egan said Murtagh went to the shops to buy beer and the victim watched tennis on the computer. A short time later he heard someone sneaking up on him before his neck was slashed.

Murtagh cut him a second time. The victim then slipped and fell in a pool of blood as Murtagh left.

Garda Egan said the nurse shouted for help and tried to ring an ambulance. He wrapped a towel around his neck to stop the bleeding. Paramedics arrived 15 minutes later and took him to hospital where he was given four pints of blood. Several arteries and veins had been cut and the doctor considered it a life-threatening wound. If the victim hadn’t used the towel he would have died of a cardiac arrest. He has recovered with just a scar to his neck.

Murtagh went from the apartment to Store Street Garda station and told gardaí what had happened. He brought them to the scene just as the victim was being put in the ambulance.

Murtagh pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm on June 27th, 2007 and to possession of a knife and obstructing a garda on June 22nd, 2007.

The court heard that the day before Murtagh met the nurse he had been stopped on Dame Street while carrying a butcher’s knife. He told gardaí he wanted to threaten someone he had earlier had a fight with.

Defence counsel Patrick Marrinan SC said the victim was such “a most convincing female” that the ambulance crew thought they were dealing with a lady. He said Murtagh was “in great turmoil” after his first encounter with the victim and in the intervening days had signed himself into St James’s Hospital as a suicide risk.

Judge Hogan suspended the last two years of the sentence. He ordered that Murtagh be under post-release supervision and undergo counselling if necessary.