Man who attacked Polish family in Tralee given 10-year sentence

Son’s ‘swift action’ in striking Brian Keane saved father ‘from possible fatal injuries’

A 25-year-old man who left a Polish father of four with a permanent disability has been given a 10-year prison sentence – one of the highest sentences in recent times at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee.

Brian Keane, of no fixed abode, had admitted assault causing serious harm to Kamil Fital, (47), at Woodbrook Lawn on November 11th, 2014.

Keane had also admitted assault causing harm to Mr Fital's son Hubert Fital then aged 17 , and with three counts in relation to theft and trespass in the vicinity.

Keane , adopted from a Russian orphanage, had “an appalling list of previous convictions” and has spent most of his life in custody or in institutions. While he behaved as a model prisoner, he could not cope when at large, the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee was told on Wednesday.


On November 11th, 2014 – at around 5.25 am – the Fital family,“a hard working Polish family long settled in Tralee” were alerted by their dog barking and found Keane rummaging through their car.

Chased by Mr Fital Snr and his two sons, Robert and Hubert, Keane produced a knife and stabbed Hubert, the younger son, in the forehead; the father intervened to save his son and was stabbed "multiple times" in both legs, his artery was severed and he received a major stab wound to the chest.

Robert’s “swift action” in striking Keane with an iron bar had saved the father “from possible fatal injuries”, the court was told.

The garda evidence called by Tom Rice prosecuting, had outlined how Mr Fital senior had suffered 8 stab wounds on the night and how it was the Fitals' recognition their aggressor spoke with a Russian accent that led to his quick arrest.

Judge Thomas E O’Donnell imposed a sentence of 10 years for the serious assault on Mr Fital Snr, along with a number of concurrent sentences for two of the other charges. He suspended two and a half years of the 10 years on condition that Keane be of good behaviour and under the direction of the Probation Service for a period of two and a half years on his release. The 10-year sentence has been backdated to November, 2014.