Man jailed for attempted murder faces four more years

A man who is serving a life sentence for attempted murder, has been jailed for four years after he was caught driving a stolen car and head-butting a garda a week after shooting the 49-year-old man.

A man who is serving a life sentence for attempted murder, has been jailed for four years after he was caught driving a stolen car and head-butting a garda a week after shooting the 49-year-old man.

Darren Larkin (aged 23), of no fixed abode, but who was previously living at Berryfield Drive, Finglas South, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the attempted murder of Akef Alquasar on February 20, 2006.

Mr Justice Eamon de Valera said at the sentence hearing that he failed to see why he should "avoid a life sentence merely because Darren Larkin is a bad shot".

He also sentenced him to 20 years in prison for two further charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Larkin was convicted last month by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury of the unlawful use of a Mitsubishi Colt at Fortlawn Avenue, Blanchardstown, assaulting Garda Shane O’Connor with intent to cause him harm, dangerous driving and driving without insurance on February 27, 2006.

Judge Pat McCartan said it was "terribly sad" that a young man like Larkin, who had never been in trouble before he was 18 years old, should come before the courts but noted that he has since "accumulated a lot of offences which resulted in this situation where he has received a life sentence for attempted murder".

Gda O’Connor told Ms Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that he indicated to the driver of the Mitsubishi that he should pull over after he saw it driving dangerously on Fortlawn Avenue. The driver refused to stop before he performed a hand brake turn, lost control of the car and crashed it into a lamppost.

The driver and other passengers jumped out of the car and while fleeing the scene Gda O’Connor saw Larkin swallowing a large amount of tablets.

Larkin was later caught and arrested but was "extremely aggressive" towards gardaí head-butting Gda O’Connor when he tried to handcuff him.

He continued to act aggressively towards gardaí in the patrol car while on route to the garda station.

Gardaí later escorted him to James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, "as a precaution" because of the amount of tablets he had taken.

Gda O’Connor said Larkin had 30 previous convictions including the life sentence for attempted murder which happened the week before this offence.

He agreed with Mr Derek Cooney BL, defending, that the majority of Larkin’s convictions were for public order and road traffic offences and seemed to be drink or drug related.

Mr Cooney told Judge McCartan that his client first started taking drugs when he was 12 or 13 years old. He is now the father of twin daughters who were born while he was in custody.

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