5-yr jail term for 'volatile' man who drove getaway car in robbery of elderly woman

“This unfortunate woman who was mobile and independent and is now suffering live-changing, ongoing, permanent injuries. This is exceptionally serious."
5-yr jail term for 'volatile' man who drove getaway car in robbery of elderly woman

A volatile man serving a jail sentence for attacking a social worker outside a courtroom has had five years added to his time in prison for being the getaway driver in the violent robbery of an 80-year-old woman.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed the five years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Graham Hornibrook and made it consecutive to the three and a half years he was already serving for attacking the social worker.

“This is a very serious case. This lady is going into her home in October 2018 when she was assaulted (by Hornibrook’s accomplice who was previously jailed), pulled and knocked to the ground.

“This unfortunate woman who was mobile and independent and is now suffering live-changing, ongoing, permanent injuries. This is exceptionally serious.

“Hornibrook’s part is that he was the driver of the car. He was not the person who offered violence. He helped the escape when others (neighbours) tried to pin them in.

“It was a determined and knowing part of this offence, without whom it could not have taken place. He has a history of violent offences. He is a person of great volatility,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.

Det. Garda Aidan Forrest said the elderly woman got out of a taxi at Sprigg’s Road to go into her home when Hornibrook’s accomplice approached her and grabbed her handbag knocking her to the ground.

Hornibrook, 36, drove over a grass verge to get them away from the crime scene as neighbours tried unsuccessfully to keep them at the scene but he was seen on CCTV in the wider area at the relevant time.

Graham Hornibrook, formerly from Churchfield and later of no fixed address, was convicted of the offence that on October 27 2017 at Cork District courthouse on Washington Street he made a threat to a social worker to kill or cause him serious harm and he is serving three and a half years in jail for that.

Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford, said Hornibrook attended a drug counsellor in Cork prison and found him very helpful.

Ms Lankford said Hornibrook’s partner died suddenly a number of years ago and that this had caused him great trauma.

She said the crimes committed that day, October 22 2018, including the robbery of the handbag and the theft of other unattended property at various locations, were impulsive acts carried out to feed a drug addiction.

Det. Garda Forrest agreed that Hornibrook could be volatile but said he could also be quite placid. He had 232 previous convictions the most serious of which was the robbery of a shop while armed with a sword.

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