Dublin District Criminal Courtwww.courts.ie

A thief who cut a number of fingers from an artist’s hand during a burglary is to be sentenced at Dublin Criminal Court in July.

James Kenny forced his way into the woman’s apartment wearing a balaclava and stole items before binding and gagging the woman and later attacking her. He later told police he had no motive for attacking the woman but that he had a problem with painkillers and needed money.

The victim says that 35-year-old Kenny used knives on her “like a butcher.”  She said she was sliding around in her own blood and felt the only way she could survive was to play dead.

During the attack she lost consciousness, and when she later awoke she made her way to a local hotel where she collapsed and staff called an ambulance.

On arrival to the hospital the victim had to be resuscitated. She suffered three deep face lacerations along with life-threatening wounds.  She had stab wounds to her neck, abdomen and chest.

Both her ring and baby finger had been amputated at joints and her middle and index finger were practically amputated. Doctors managed to amputate her middle finger, but she lost the other finger portions. Her facial scars are still visible.

The accused, with an address of Finglas, in North Dublin, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with a knife and a machete and to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the woman on September 2 2009.

Judge Tony Hunt adjourned sentencing until July in order to allow for Kenny to be psychologically assessed in prison.

The victim is now unable to hold a pen. Before the attack she had worked as an artist and had illustrated a children’s book.

Kenny had a number of previous convictions for theft and serious assault.