A man who attacked a transgender woman with a knife and demanded that she offer him free sex was given a suspended sentence.
Liam Vickers, 23, also threatened the victim’s roommate, who tried to intervene during the incident.
Vickers, of Swifts Grove, Clonshaugh, pleaded guilty in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to causing assault in an apartment in Dublin city center in the early hours of September 30, 2017.
He has two previous convictions for cellphone driving and no-show. The court heard his father plead guilty to the Central Criminal Court for murdering his mother in 2009.
Judge Elma Sheahan had previously adjourned the sentence and ordered Vickers to follow all orders from the probation service and order drug tests to be carried out every month.
Judge Sheahan, who was convicted on Friday, said Vickers had been visited with major challenges in his life and had made significant progress over the past 18 months. She said this was a severe assault on a vulnerable person, but she could not set aside Vickers’ own experience in his early life, “which was terrible on every level”.
She noted that he had worked fully with the probation service, engaged in restorative justice and, as a result, reduced his risk of reoffending. She also noted that he is employed, dealing with his alcohol use in therapy.
Judge Sheahan sentenced Vickers to two years in prison but suspended the entire sentence for three years under strict conditions, including following all orders from the probation service and paying the victim € 2,000 in compensation within 12 months.
At an earlier trial, Garda Sgt. Karl Colgan told Derek Cooney BL that the victim was escorting at the time and received a call from Vickers on the date in question to see if she was free.
After she brought Vickers into her bedroom, he took out a large knife and tried to stab her in the face. She blocked the attack and was injured in the arm and cheek.
Vickers pointed the knife at her and asked for free sex, which she refused. Her roommate tried to intervene and was also threatened with a knife.
He told the victim to sit on the bed and delete his phone number and texts from her cell phone. She deleted his texts and he quietly walked out of the room, but she did not delete her call log and saved his phone number.
During the interview with Gardaí, Vickers said he drank in a park earlier that day and drank half a liter of vodka, as well as taking cocaine and sleeping pills. He said he found the knife in the park and took it away because he was paranoid about being “robbed”.
In a victim impact statement read in court, the woman said she was attacked a second time with a knife after the incident and that she had lost her ability to trust people.
She said she was now afraid of being alone and, although her native Brazil is known to be a violent country, she was never attacked while there.
Sgt Colgan agreed with Dean Kelly SC, defending that his client’s mother was murdered in 2009 by his father, who is currently serving a life sentence.
Mr Kelly said his client acknowledges that this “violent and cowardly crime” is exacerbated by the fact that the victim is a person working far from home in an industry that may prevent them from approaching gardaí. He said that Vickers has considerable empathy for what the injured person has experienced and that he is repentant and ashamed of his actions.