Irish Independent | 18th May 2021
He believed he was seeing “shadows” and was attempting to burn them away with the blowtorch, defence counsel, Karl Monahan BL, said.
Brennan has no previous convictions.
Ms Collard said the little boy’s entire family have been emotionally affected by what happened. The boy’s parents in particular are “full of what-ifs”, she said.
The boy’s father cried in court as he said the attack had left him “empty, scared for my family’s safety and helpless”. He said he struggles with sleep and feels nauseated when he sees the footage of Brennan hurting his son.
The boy’s mother said she still struggles to come to terms with the fact her child was attacked in their garden. She said the assault has left her sad and afraid. “I hold my children close to my heart and tell them I love them every day,” she said.
Both parents reported how their child has had nightmares and sleep difficulties in the wake of the assault, has become hysterical when he sees a strange man and is scared to go out in the front garden where the attack occurred.
Mr Monahan said Brennan was diagnosed with autism when he was a child and Asperger’s Syndrome when he was a teenager. He started using cannabis which may have led to him developing schizophrenia.
Filed under ‘Violence, abuse and attempted murder’.