Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A SERIAL offender has been sentenced to four years' imprisonment after he admitted his role in a late-night robbery on the northside of Limerick city.
Joseph O'Loughlin, aged 26, who has an address at Colbert Avenue, Janesboro was prosecuted before Limerick Circuit Court in relation to the incident which occurred in the early hours of December 17, 2020.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Ronan O'Reilly said the victim was walking at Sexton Street North, Thomondgate following a night out when he was set upon by two men.
"He was jumped by two youths for no reason," he told prosecuting counsel John O'Sullivan.
The victim, whose aged in his early 20s, was grabbed from behind and following a brief struggle he was knocked to the ground and his phone was taken.
The detective said the victim, who had been drinking, was not in a position to defendant himself when he was attacked. He sustained a grazed knee and his cheek was swollen.
Coincidently, gardai had been alerted to "two males acting suspiciously" a short time earlier and they arrived on the scene around the time the robbery was occurring.
Another individual - Mr X - was observed attacking the victim and Mr O'Loughlin was arrested a short time later.
Judge Tom O'Donnell was told he initially gave gardai a false name and address but later made some admissions and identified himself on CCTV.
The defendant has more than 100 previous convictions and was described in court as a "prolific recidivist".
Barrister Eimear Carey said her client first began using drugs when he was a teenager and that he has "struggled to get a handle on his addiction".
She said he accepts full responsibility for his actions and that he "appreciates he can't continue on the path he is travelling."
Imposing sentence, Judge O'Donnell said such incidents are "far too common" in Limerick and that people need to be protected from such behaviour.
"It was a nasty enough incident," he said adding that Mr O'Loughlin's previous record was an aggravating factor.
He imposed a five year prison sentence but suspended the final 12 months.
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