‘Everyone deserves a second chance’

A St John’s ambulance volunteer suffered a dislocated shoulder and fractured wrist when a man dragged her to the ground as he tried to rob her handbag and yesterday she said of the accused: “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Detective Garda Cormac Crotty said the victim was dragged to the ground when the accused pulled her handbag. He said the accused felt immediate remorse and it was someone else who fled the scene with the handbag.

Jane Buckley was on her way to an AGM for St John’s Ambulance on May 3, 2011, when the attempted robbery occurred. David Long, aged 38, fled to England afterwards and ended up serving a jail sentence over there for an unrelated crime.

He said yesterday that his life was in ruins at the time and he ran when he should have faced up to his responsibilities. Against that, he said he put his time in prison in England to very good use, getting an education.

Ms Buckley said: “I lost my confidence that night. I have not been back to the bus stop. I don’t go out now unless I have a lift.” Long apologised to the victim in open court yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

“I am truly ashamed of what I done, and even more ashamed for not staying and facing up to it. But I have spent the last four years mending and moulding the man I was into a better human being to make sure nothing like this will ever happen again,” he said.

Long, who was living at Clifden Terrace, Summerhill North, Cork, at the time, said yesterday he had no right to expect forgiveness but he hoped what he said would help the victim understand he was not the same person he was at the time.

“I ask you humbly to forgive me,” he said in a letter which he read out in court. Ms Buckley said, “Everyone deserves a second chance”.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he would take the exceptional level of rehabilitation by Long into consideration.

He imposed a three-year sentence with the last two years suspended.


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