Five years for Offaly man who knocked 83-year-old woman unconscious

An Offaly man who mugged and knocked unconscious an 83-year-old woman has been sentenced to five years with the final year suspended.

Following the robbery, grandmother-of-seven Bridget Campbell spent a week in intensive care and underwent emergency surgery for fractures. Doctors had to place a pin in her leg.

Trevor O’Shea (aged 35) of Bulfin Park, Birr was found guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after a five-day trial in January of robbing Ms Campbell on March 30, 2010 outside the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin.

During the trial, Ms Campbell told prosecuting counsel Roughan Banim BL she travelled from Sandymount to Dublin city every week to shop and to go to the Pro-Cathedral for the Stations of the Cross.

On the day of the robbery she took the bus in O’Connell Street and walked down to Marlborough Street to the Pro-Cathedral.

She told Mr Banim she remembered feeling a “terrible push” and then a bang to her head.

She fell down and blacked out. When she regained consciousness there were people surrounding her and she realised her handbag was missing.

She suffered a broken leg, fractured cheek bones, a black eye and a cut about her left eye.

“I was all bruised, black and blue,” she told the court. She was taken to the Mater Hospital where she underwent surgery.

Garda Jamie Jordan told the court Mrs Campbell’s attack was witnessed by a passer-by and a bus driver who were able to give statements on the incident.

CCTV footage showed O’Shea before and after the robbery and he was found shortly after in a cul-de-sac near Cathal Brugha Street with a black handbag.

He was arrested but denied it was Mrs Campbell’s handbag.

“He changed his story on a number of occasions but continuously denied robbery,” said Gda Jordan.

O’Shea, who has 57 previous convictions, began drinking alcohol at the age of 13, according to defence counsel Derek Cooney BL.

“He moved onto hash and became addicted to heroin and has been attending a drug treatment centre,” said defence counsel.

Judge Patricia Ryan noted that neither Ms Campbell nor her family wanted to be in court for the sentencing as she has been ill since the trial.

She said: “This is a crime of violence and the victim continues to suffer psychological trauma,” and sentenced O’Shea to five years with the final year suspended.

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