Limerick teenager who escaped in taxi after violent city incident is jailed for three years

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Limerick teenager jailed for role in violent city centre incident

Limerick District Court heard the victim was dragged from his car before being kicked and punched. The assailants eventually escaped in a taxi

A YOUNG man has received a lengthy prison sentence for his role in a violent incident in the city centre, after which he and an accomplice hailed a taxi to make good their escape.

Jack Walsh, 19, who  has an address at Woodlawn Park, Ballysimon, had pleaded guilty to a robbery charge relating to an incident which happened at William Street on July 18, 2016.

During a sentencing hearing, Garda Dermot Cummins said the defendant and another young man approached a BMW car which had stopped at traffic lights near the junction of High Street shortly before 5pm.

He told Judge Tom O’Donnell the doors of the vehicle were opened and that the male driver was pulled from the vehicle and attacked on the street.

The victim, aged in his late 20s, was kicked and punched by the culprits who then took his mobile phone and wallet.

Garda Cummins said the culprits then attempted to flee but were followed into a nearby store by the victim while the other occupants of the car – a woman and young child – stayed in the vehicle.

 At the store, one of the assailants – identified as Mr X – threw shopping baskets at the victim while Mr Walsh remained near the entrance.

Limerick Circuit Court was told the culprits then fled from the store and ran back towards the car where one of them punched the woman in the head.

The youths then moved to the John Street area where they hailed a taxi and made their escape despite the victim's efforts to stop the taxi.

Garda Cummins said having been alerted to the incident an investigation was launched and Jack Walsh was identified as a suspect on CCTV.

He was arrested a week later and made some admissions during interview.

John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said the incident, which happened in broad daylight, was very traumatic for the nine-year-old boy who was in the car.

Garda Cummins confirmed no serious injuries were inflicted and that the victim declined the opportunity to make a victim impact statement.

Jack Nicholas BL said there was some confusion as who did what on the day and he submitted his client was not the main instigator.

He said Mr Walsh, who was 17 at the time, has had a difficult upbringing and has a troubled past.

Judge O’Donnell was told Mr X was prosecuted before the district court where he received a nine month prison sentence.

Mr O’Sullivan said the DPP had directed trial on indictment in the case of Mr Walsh who has a large number of previous convictions – some for serious offences.

Having considered the matter, Judge Tom O’Donnell imposed a three-year prison sentence which he back-dated to reflect the time which Mr Walsh has served in custody.