Man convicted of Limerick stabbing wants to change legal team for retrial

Limerick Circuit Court Judge Tom O'Donnell.

A MAN who has appealed a conviction for stabbing his flatmate in Limerick City four years ago is looking to change his legal team ahead of his retrial.

In November 2020, Jean Louise Fancony (39) formerly of Riverpoint Apartments, Bishop’s Quay was convicted of assault causing serious harm to Tim Crowley on July 22, 2019.

Mr Fancony had pleaded not guilty, claiming self defence.

The trial heard the alarm was raised by a passer-by who described how Mr Crowley had his intestines “in his hand” when he made it onto the street outside the Riverpoint apartment building.

A native of France, Mr Fancony had lost his job a number of months beforehand and had been acting strangely on the day he stabbed Mr Crowley several times with a large bread knife.

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At the Court of Appeal last January, Mr Fancony’s barrister James Dwyer said that Garda Enda Clifford had told the trial that he took a note which stated that Mr Fancony said “he knifed the Irish guy because he was a Satanist and that after 35 years he had met with destiny”.

Mr Dwyer said the defence had objected to the use of the note as it had not been read back to Fancony and it had not been signed by him. Other Gardai at the scene said they could not recall the note.

Mr Dwyer argued that Mr Fancony had not been afforded the opportunity to have the alleged admission put to him and signed, “which fatally undermined the fairness of the conviction”.

He added that the defence was run on the basis of self-defence and that the note referencing a “35-year destiny” had destroyed the spontaneity required for self-defence argument.

The Court of Appeal reserved judgement in the case.

Mr Crowley, who underwent life-saving surgery following the attack, told the trial he found it hard to comprehend what had happened.

“It is a life sentence for me. I am now fearful and worried of what the future holds,” he said.

At Limerick Circuit Court on Tuesday, Judge Tom O’Donnell, who had sentenced Mr Fancony to seven and half years for the stabbing, said case would now be retried.

Judge O’Donnell was told Mr Fancony wanted to change his legal team ahead of the retrial.

The matter was put into a call-over of cases to be heard by the court at a later date.