Dream to travel the world ends in Limerick prison

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A MAN who had a dream to travel the world has been jailed for three years after he stabbed his flatmate during a psychotic trance when he was found naked and kneeling against a wall.

The bizarre circumstances of the attack were heard at Limerick Circuit Court after Marek Kniezo (36) pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a 64-year-old Dock Road apartment owner last May.

Kniezo left his native Slovakia to travel the world before settling in Limerick. He fell into drug addiction and fell out with his girlfriend before seeking refuge from his friend of eight or nine years.

For two months, Kniezo stayed in the apartment without incident until May 17 when his flatmate heard noises and grumbling coming from his room in the middle of the night.

A short time later, Kniezo was found naked and kneeling down facing the kitchen wall and in some kind of trance. It later emerged that the Slovak had been trying to withdraw himself from drug abuse without support.

As he “snapped out of the trance”, he grabbed a knife and lunged at his flatmate stabbing him three times in the course of the attack.

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His flatmate sought refuge at friend’s house and claimed he was attacked in a laneway by unidentified muggers as he didn’t want to get Kniezo in trouble.

However Kniezo was found the next day disorientated in a nearby car park with cuts, bruises and fractured eye socket.

Judge O’Donnell noted that the defendant didn’t challenge the evidence and said he simply didn’t remember what happened.

Defence counsel Lorcan Connolly said his client was addicted to heroin, xanax and “sticks” and was having episodes of psychosis when he tried to shake his addiction.

He had been “hallucinating” and in a “trance” on the night he stabbed his flatmate.

Describing it as a serious attack, Judge O’Donnell said it was clear that Kniezo had serious mental issues given that he was abusing benzodiazepines and opiates through self medication.

After hearing that he was “rehabbing well in custody”, Judge O’Donnell imposed a three year prison term with the final 12 months suspended for three years.