Man jailed for 7½ years over role in ‘sinister attack’ in Dublin flat

Homeowner stabbed and had most of his ear cut off by group including Sam Maughan (26)

A 26-year-old who was one of a group of four who held a man in his own home for six hours, stabbing him multiple times and cutting most of his right ear off, has been jailed.

A 26-year-old who was one of a group of four who held a man in his own home for six hours, stabbing him multiple times and cutting most of his right ear off, has been jailed.

 

A 26-year-old who was one of a group of four who held a man in his own home for six hours, stabbing him multiple times and cutting most of his right ear off, has been jailed for 7½ years.

Sam Maughan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to causing serious harm to Mark Burke (43) on August 1st, 2018 at the victim’s home in Whitefriars Gardens, Dublin 8.

Det Garda Mark Dennehy said Mr Burke had allowed the men into his home after his daughter asked if she could have some people over, but when the group started to cause some trouble, he asked everyone to leave.

All the girls left but four males remained and someone locked Mr Burke’s front door, keeping them all in his flat.

Det Garda Dennehy told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that when Mr Burke asked the men to leave one of them hit him in the face with a bottle, splitting his lip. He was then ordered into the sitting room where the group continued to hit him over the head with the bottle.

The main instigator of the group, who is due to go on trial and cannot be identified, told the other three: “If you don’t join in, it will happen to you”.

This same man then instructed one of the group to get a scissors and said: “I am going to show you how to cut someone up”. Mr Burke was then held down while this man tried to cut his right ear with the scissors.

Not the ringleader

Det Garda Dennehy said it was accepted that Maughan was not the ringleader of this group but he did take part in the attack. He agreed that Maughan and the other three each took it in turn to cut the man’s right ear until most of it was severed. Mr Burke was also stabbed multiple times with a second scissors.

The victim was then taken to the bathroom where he was forced to get into the bath and the taps were turned on. A mirror was broken over his head and the toilet cistern was used to hit him on the head and legs.

At one point the lead from a phone charger was forced down his throat while the victim was told “you are dead tonight”.

Det Garda Dennehy told Ms Small that Maughan did not take part in the attack in the bathroom.

At some point after 9am the group left the flat and gardaí­ got a call informing them there was a group of males in a nearby park who were covered in blood. The men were later approached by gardaí­ and a partly severed ear was found nearby.

Det Garda Dennehy said Mr Burke was discovered outside his flat at 10am that morning. He had collapsed. He was taken to St James’s Hospital where he was treated for blood loss and extensive cuts to his head, face, torso and limbs. It was also noted that most of his right ear had been cut off.

Det Garda Dennehy said Maughan was homeless at the time and appeared at his hostel that morning crying. He told staff he had stabbed a man in the arms, legs and chest and he had slit his ear. He was covered in blood and there was a strong smell of alcohol off him. He admitted that he had taken cocaine.

Blood staining

Maughan was arrested later that same day and blood staining on his clothes matched that of Mr Burke’s.

Det Garda Dennehy said Maughan had 88 convictions, seven of which had been dealt with in the Circuit Court and involved offences for possession of knives, false imprisonment, robbery, assault and public order.

He agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that Maughan struggled with addiction and was the only one of the four men to plead guilty.

Mr Bowman described it as “a deeply disturbing case” and said Mr Burke had to “undergo the most shocking of ordeals”.

Judge Martin Nolan said the evening had commenced in an innocent enough way, but “at a certain point events took a sinister turn” and all four attacked the victim in the “most grievous way”.

He said it was hard to imagine what motivated the men but “on the night in question” and that “collective madness and badness took over”.

He acknowledged Maughan had “no stability in his life” but said he had to sentence him for “really bad behaviour” as he imposed a 7½ year jail term.