The victim of a city centre robbery was left frightened by the attack which happened as he walked to his city home shortly before midnight and two of those involved were jailed yesterday.
Judge Gerard O’Brien said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: “He has that fear that other people must feel when they are attacked, others are contacted by phone to join in and he becomes the victim of a three-pronged attack.”
Garda Danielle Porter arrested Barry Hurley, aged 56, of St Vincent’s hostel, Anglesea Terrace, Cork, and Kenneth McInerney, aged 22, of no fixed address in Cork, and charged them assault causing harm to the man at St Augustine Street on November 21, 2016, and robbing him of €5 in cash, cigarettes, and his phone.
Both admitted the charge.
Peter O’Flynn, defending Hurley, said his client expressed remorse as soon as he witnessed on CCTV what he had done. He said the accused had been plagued by family tragedies.
Brendan Kelly, defending, said McInerney expressed remorse and said that what happened to the injured party was lousy.
Sgt Jason Wallace said yesterday McInerney first assaulted the victim at Emmet Place. The injured party tried to get away from trouble and walked through the city centre but he was followed and attacked again at Augustine St by McInerney, Hurley and others. The victim was left with an injury to his nose after the violent robbery.
Sgt Wallace said Hurley 160 previous convictions, the vast majority for public order, one for assault and one for assault causing harm and none for robbery.
Mr O’Flynn said: “Despite a long life of homelessness and addiction he has only one conviction for assault causing harm. This offence is not typical of him. He was not the instigator but was just as guilty as he joined in.”
Judge O’Brien said: “He punched the victim in the stomach three times. It is most regrettable that the issue of homelessness has perhaps led him into an escalation of criminalised behaviour.
“The probation report puts him at a very high rate of reoffending.
“His circumstances are very bleak. It is submitted that he is sorry. I have read the victim impact statement. He has been frightened and very much affected by this attack.
“The appropriate sentence is 18 months on the assault with the last five months suspended.”
In respect of McInerney, the judge imposed the same sentence. McInerney met the injured party and asked for money. He walked up Carey’s Lane, Patrick St and St. Augustine’s St.
“He punched him and kicked him repeatedly in the head area. Phone and cigarettes were taken. The phone was found on McInerney’s person,” Sgt Wallace said.
This accused had 11 convictions including counts for arson and burglary.
Mr Kelly said: “His lifestyle is chaotic — polysubstance addictions and homeless — but he does have some insight into his offending.”
Judge O’Brien said: “It is extremely alarming that this can only be seen as an escalation of his offending. The fact that only cigarettes and phone were taken is not of significance. Of more significance, the victim remains nervous and has a fear of being attacked. He (McInerney) is getting towards being a serial criminal.”
Aaron Babbington, aged 23, of 25 Churchfield Avenue, Churchfield, Cork, had his sentencing put back for a month to consider his suitability for community service instead of jail. Alan O’Dwyer, defending, said Babbington’s only part was to go through the victim’s pockets. He pleaded guilty to robbery and not to assault causing harm.
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