Man with 132 convictions who stabbed brother-in-law given suspended sentence

John Ward stabbed Patrick Mongan while he slept in his bed with his wife and baby

A man with 132 previous convictions, who stabbed his brother-in-law in the neck while he slept in his bed with his wife and baby, was given a suspended sentence in court on Tuesday.

John Ward, (33), appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal charged with stabbing Patrick Mongan after the pair had been drinking together.

Ward had arrived at Mongan’s house in Letterkenny on October 13th, 2013 after the pair had been drinking the previous day. They continued drinking at Mongan’s home and Mongan eventually went to bed.

However, the victim told gardaí that Ward came upstairs and began slashing him while he slept in bed with his wife and child.


Barrister for the accused, Mr Peter Nolan, said his client was now a different man and was making great strides in turning his life around.

He said he had appeared at Monaghan Circuit Court in 2016 accused of assaulting his wife. However, Judge John O’Hagan had imposed a suspended sentence on him saying he believed Ward was making efforts to change his life.

Passing sentence Judge Terence O’Sullivan said he would normally apply a custodial sentence for an incident where a blade or similar implement is involved.

He said this particular incident deserved a sentence of three and a half years as it was on the higher end of assault causing harm scale.

However, he referred to the previous case as handled by Judge John O’Hagan. “He (Judge O’Hagan) is a man I would respect and a person with a large degree of experience,” he said.

He sentenced Ward, of Country Meadows, Tuam, to three years in prison, but suspended the sentence.