Syringe-wielding thief overpowered by garda

The manager of a Limerick hotel was terrified when a man put a syringe to his neck and grabbed a cash box, a court heard.

As this happened, another hotel employee ran to Henry Street Garda Station a short distance away and alerted gardaí, who ran to the scene and grabbed the attacker after a chase and a struggle.

Kenneth Noonan, aged 30, of Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court yesterday to robbery at The Limerick CIty Hotel and false imprisonment of the night manger, Rafael Zipagan.

Garda Donnacha Coakley said he was on duty in Henry Street Garda Station at around 3am on May 6, 2015, when a man ran in in a very distressed state.

Gda Coakley ran to the hotel with a colleague. He saw a man with a green hoodie run out the front door and head towards Shannon Bridge. He gave chase and caught up with this man, the accused. Noonan threatened him with a syringe and threw a cash box at him.

Gda Coakley drew his baton and used pepper spray before he overpowered Noonan in a violent struggle.

Noonan, the court heard, has 85 previous convictions, many for violent crimes and some involving the discharge of firearms.

Judge Tom O’Donnell remanded Noonan in custody for sentence at a later date


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