Man assaulted nurse while awaiting sentence for attempted murder
Hellfire Club attacker Michael Corbett (29) tried to strangle the psychiatric nurse at the Central Mental Hospital
Michael Corbett assaulted the nurse in the Central Mental Hospital. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
A court has ordered that a man who assaulted a psychiatric nurse while awaiting sentence for the attempted murder of a teenager camping in the Dublin mountains must remain under supervision for 15 years.
Michael Corbett (29) had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of the 17-year-old on June 27th, 2016 at the Hellfire Club on Montpelier Hill. He attacked a number of campers with a knife and used a piece of timber to strike one teenager about the head.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that as a result of this offence the father-of-one, with an address in Raheny, Dublin, was an in-patient in the Central Mental Hospital on October 6th 2016 when he attacked Declan Curtin.
Staff were escorting him to an exercise period when he asked to use the toilet. When Mr Curtin went in after him Corbett used a sock to try to strangle the nurse.
The victim, an experienced nurse, managed to free himself before he was seriously harmed but he suffers from flashbacks and an increased level of anxiety in his work.
Corbett later pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault of Mr Curtin, causing him harm.
Judge Melanie Greally imposed a five year sentence and suspended the final two and a half years for 15 years on strict conditions. This was backdated to September 2018.
These conditions include remaining under supervision of the Probation Service for the entire 15 year period, living at an address agreed with the Garda and Probation Service.
He must also partake in pre-release planning, engage with appropriate services in the community, taking prescribed medication, attend all appointments and refrain from the use of illicit substances.
Mark Lynam BL, defending, said his client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was “quite unwell”. Counsel said it was not possible for him to live at the family home, where his young son lives.
The court heard Corbett’s clothing has been changed to short stockings as a result of this offence.
Judge Greally noted that Corbett had been admitted to the Central Mental Hospital as a result of his involvement in the attempted murder. In July 2018 he was sentenced to nine years in prison with six years suspended.
She noted the victim was able to free himself before he came to serious harm but that he suffers flashbacks and anxiety during the course of his work.
Judge Greally said this offence had taken place in close proximity to the attempted murder offence.
He had been assessed as at high risk of re-offending and had an established history of violent offending.
Judge Greally said he needed a structured sentence which ensured he received the support he needed and addressed the risk to the community.
She said the offence lay at the top of the range for this offence and gave him credit for his guilty plea and significant mental health issues.
In relation to his mental health she also noted his previous non-compliance with his medication and use of illicit drugs but said he had been largely compliant with his medication since going into prison.