Waterford teenager Jason Moore allegedly stabbed a former lover, Luke O’Brien, six times in a violent rage when rumours of their sexual relationship became public in their hometown of Dungarvan, Waterford. He has avoided prison time after pleading guilty in court last week, the Irish Mirror has reported, instead receiving a two year suspended sentence.
Moore and O’Brien, both seventeen years old at the time of the attack, had known each other since childhood. The two were sexually involved, but Moore became angry when their relationship started to become public knowledge in Dungarvan.
After falling out with O’Brien, the Waterford teenager set up a Snapchat account under a false name and used this account to begin messaging the other boy again. He then arranged a meeting with O’Brien at a secluded location in Dungarvan Bay, claiming that they were “just going to chat.” The Waterford Circuit Court heard last Thursday that Moore arrived for this meeting drunk and armed with a knife that was never found later.
Sgt Alan Crowley, who investigated the case and testified in court, said that the men were walking together and “having a normal conversation,” for some time, but that at some point O’Brien felt a cold sensation and realised he had been stabbed. He pleaded with his attacker to stop, but Moore screamed back “this is all your fault, you shouldn’t have told people, and now you have to pay.”
The court heard that O’Brien received “at least six” stab wounds, as well as kicks and punches to the face, and believed that “he was going to be killed.”
The injured O’Brien ran to a neighbour’s house with Moore shouting after him “I know you are going to tell people… if you do, I will find you and stab you to death.” After managing to reach his neighbour, he was rushed to University Hospital Waterford.
Moore was arrested that night at his home, where gardaí found his blood-stained clothes. He initially denied that himself and O’Brien had been in a sexual relationship, but in court last week he apologised to the victim.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly described the attack as a “vicious and potentially lethal assault” on an undeserving young man. “No young person should have to suffer in this way because the perpetrator of the offence is going through a period of confusion about his own sexual identity.”
However, the judge apparently took Moore’s early guilty plea, tearful remorse and poor mental health – which had led to two suicide attempts preceding the time of the attack – into consideration when deciding on a sentence for the Waterford teenager. He gave Moore a two year suspended prison sentence, allowing the attacker to avoid jail time. When the verdict was delivered, the Irish Mirror reports, both families broke down in tears.
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