A convicted sex offender who was found guilty in his absence by a jury after he went on the run was brought back before the courts after he mugged a woman on her way to work 18 months later.
The man, 26, who cannot be named so as not to identify his victim in the sex assault trial heard at the Central Criminal Court, was found guilty by a jury on 14 counts of sexually assaulting his cousin after a four-day trial in May 2018.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges which relate to two locations in Dublin on dates between June 2008 and October 2011. The girl was aged between five and eight years old at the time, while he was aged between 14 and 18 years old.
He had gone missing just before the jury delivered the verdict and had been “at large” until he robbed a 62-year-old woman of her handbag on a Dublin city street on November 9, 2019.
The mugging, which happened just outside Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station, came to the attention of the gardaí when they heard the victim screaming. Officers then checked their CCTV cameras and spotted the man struggling with the woman, punching her and making off with her bag.
Garda Joseph Berrill told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that he gave chase and arrested the man 250 meters away from the scene of the attack. He then discovered there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest and brought him back before the Central Criminal Court to execute the warrant.
Mr Justice Michael White had imposed a seven-year sentence on the man in his absence in December 2018 after he had been informed by the State that gardaí had not been able to execute the warrant.
When the man was brought before Mr Justice White in November 2019, he told the man that a seven-year sentence had been imposed on him in his absence and that he would begin serving that term from that date.
Today, Judge Sarah Berkeley imposed a consecutive four-year term with the final year suspended after she heard that the man was due for release from his current term in February 2025.
He had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the woman at Fitzgibbon Street on November 9, 2019.
Judge Berkeley said she had taken into account that although the victim of the mugging had minor injuries to her head from the attack, a victim impact statement stated that she had psychological difficulties.
She acknowledged that the man was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the robbery and didn't recall the offence.