A burglar who savagely cut off a Dublin artist’s fingers with knives during a break-in was sentenced to 16 years in prison today. Judge Tony Hunt described the attack as "unspeakable, almost medieval barbarity" and noted how the victim would be forced to live with a physical reminder of the “horror.”

The Irish Examiner reports that James Kenny pleaded guilty to the charges against him for aggravated burglary with a knife and machete and to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the victim, an artist. The attack occurred on September 2, 2009 in Dublin.

Kenny had broken into the victim’s apartment in the Eden Block, Prospect Hill complex, stole a number of items before tying up and stabbing the victim, as well as cutting off some of her fingers.

Kenny said there was no reason to attack his victim, but that he struggled with painkillers.
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The victim recounted how she felt that she was sliding around in blood, and believed her only option was to play dead until Kenny left. She lost consciousness, but when she awoke, she struggled over to a local hotel, where she collapsed and was brought to the hospital.

There, one of her fingers was able to be reattached, but not all. Along with the mutalation to her hand, the victim also endured several wounds to the face, neck, abdomen and chest. The Irish Examiner reports that the victim “is unable to hold a pen, unable to indulge her interest in photography and finds it difficult to manage cooking, household tasks and gardening”. She also now suffers from depression and flash-backs to the event.

James Kenny is already serving his sentence for his crime. The defense, Breffni Gordon BL, said that Kenny had completed a first aid course, and was now studying computer science. Kenny has supposedly realized his grief and remorse for his attack while in  jail, as well.

This is not James Kenny’s first attack. In 1998 he was sentenced to 4 years in prison after committing a similar act on a 58-year-old man.

Judge Hunt described the victim as "a person of considerable abilities and culture" and noted that "society has been deprived of the talented and cultured person she is.” He also asserted that he believed Kenny knew what he was doing at the time of the attack.