Limerick addict jailed after carrying out spate of robberies

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Circuit Court
A YOUNG man was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after he admitted his role in a series of robberies in the Kings Island area of the city.

A YOUNG man was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after he admitted his role in a series of robberies in the Kings Island area of the city.

Tyrone O’Connor, aged 25, who has an address at Francis Place, Nicholas Street pleaded guilty to four robbery charges relating to incidents which happened in January of this year.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Mairead Reidy said the first offence happened at around 8pm on January 2, last.

She told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that two students were confronted by Mr O’Connor as they were walking at Bridge Street.

The defendant threatened each of the students with the knife before taking their handbags which contained cash and various documents including their passports.

The second incident happened at Nicholas Street on January 17 when Mr O’Connor snatched a handbag from a middle-aged woman who was walking her dog shortly before 9pm.

Det Garda Reidy said the woman initially resisted but that Mr O’Connor escaped when the strap of the bag broke.

The third incident happened near Grove Island, Corbally less than a week later - on January 23.

On that occasion, the defendant pushed a young man against a wall and threatened to stab him if he did not hand over his valuables.

After Mr O’Connor made his escape, the injured party drove around the area - locating the culprit at Athlunkard Street a short time later.

Gardai were alerted and the defendant was arrested near King John’s Castle following a foot chase.

Det Garda Reidy said the defendant made admissions in relation to all of the offences following his arrest.

Brian McInerney BL, defending, said his client is a “chronic drug addict who committed the robberies to feed his habit”.

He said his client has no trappings of wealth and he submitted his guilty pleas were of “crucial importance” given the “very very weak” case against his client.

Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran noted that Mr O’Connor has numerous convictions and that he has a serious drug addiction.

He imposed prison sentences totalling 18 months in relation to the robbery offences.

The judge ordered that the sentence be served consecutively to a one year suspended sentence which he activated.

That sentence was imposed in July 2010 after Mr O’Connor pleaded guilty to a separate robbery offence.

All of the sentences imposed this week were backdated to June 17, last as the defendant has been in custody since then.