A 27-YEAR-OLD has been sentenced to more than three years for his role in a vicious attack on a man in his Lisnaskea home.

Peter Anthony Smith, of Beechgrove Park, Ballinamallard, was sentenced on Friday for offences committed with others during a “home invasion” in which a man was stabbed eight times.

He was originally charged with attempting to murder a man after breaking into his home in Trasna Way on October 8, 2016.

But at Dungannon Crown Court, Smith pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

The court heard how Smith armed himself with a hurling stick as he set off with two others for the victim’s home.

He used the stick to gain entry to the property, but the court heard the incident got“out of hand”.

Co-defendant Brendan McLaughlin (27), with an address at Tempo, obtained a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the victim eight times.

Both Smith and McLaughlin left the house and the knife was disposed of. The victim was taken to hospital having sustained significant injuries, including chest, kidney and bowel wounds.

The court was told there was no evidence connecting Smith to the actual stabbing and inquiries revealed the stick was not connected to any injury sustained by the victim.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC described the incident as: “A stabbing which began as an intent to assault with a hurling stick.”

The judge added: “This was a serious offence with a weapon taken to the scene, but I am mindful this is only an aiding and abetting charge as to a more serious attack, which was not in the defendant’s mind.

“There was a degree of pre-meditation and there is a previous record. The offence was committed while under a suspended sentence, involved a home-invasion and a weapon was used.”

Judge Fowler said the starting point for sentencing was five years imprisonment, causing Smith’s partner, seated in the public gallery, to gasp loudly.

The judge fixed sentencing at three years and three months’ imprisonment, with half to be spent on supervised licence.