Man jailed for stabbing
“Only by good fortune the victim’s life was saved.”
JUDGE I RENE LAWSON
A NORLANE man got a fiveyear jail sentence yesterday for stabbing his neighbour from behind after knocking on the man’s door at 2.30am.
Geelong County Court heard Mark O’Toole committed the crime on November 25, 2016, while struggling to manage his schizophrenia and voices in his head, and shortly after being released from jail.
Judge Irene Lawson said the attacker was considered a serious, violent offender, and had a long criminal history — including 32 court appearances — that counted against him.
O’Toole, 42, pleaded guilty last week to a count of intentionally causing serious injury, admitting he went to the victim’s house in the middle of the night and stabbed him three times after being let inside.
“(It was) an unprovoked, savage attack on your friend and neighbour in his own home, and in the presence of his partner,” Ms Lawson said.
The victim did not report the matter to police, nor did he seek medical attention for his injuries until 6am, when he was rushed to University Hospital Geelong.
The court heard by that time his life was in peril.
Stabbed in the kidney, neck and chest, the victim was put into an induced coma for three days as surgeons cut open his sternum and rib cage to repair the damage caused by a stab wound that had entered his heart.
“Only by good fortune, the victim’s life was saved,” Ms Lawson said.
The judge noted O’Toole had made major progress during the 446 days he has already spent in jail after his arrest, and was now better at managing his mental health.
She said those health issues reduced his moral culpability for the crimes, and she was “relatively optimistic” about his prospects of rehabilitation if he kept off drugs and followed the mental health advice he’d been given.
However, Ms Lawson also said the need for her sentence to provide protection for the community loomed large.
She sentenced O’Toole to a five-year jail term, with nonparole period of three years and nine months.