Limerick Circuit Court
A TEENAGER who falsely imprisoned and robbed two circus workers at a house in Limerick city has been jailed for 18 months.
Gary Bermingham, aged 18, of Castlebrook, Castletroy pleaded guilty last year to charges relating to an incident in the early hours of February 1, 2014.
The victims - both English nationals - were members of the marketing team employed by Circus Vegas who had arrived in Limerick the day before the incident.
The men, who were aged in their 20s, were out socialising in the city centre, when they encountered a number of local youths including the defendant.
They were taken, under false pretence, to the rear of a house at Johns Gate village where they were forced into a garden shed and threatened with a Stanley knife, which was held to one of the men’s throat.
Mr Bermingham, who can now be identified as he has turned 18, played an active part in the robbery by searching the men’s pockets and removing their valuables.
During last year’s sentencing hearing, Mark Nicholas SC said his client, who has 18 previous convictions, had just turned 15 and was the youngest of the group.
He said the teenager has had a difficult upbringing and that his father is “not the best of role models”.
Imposing sentence Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the teenager did not use any violence during the incident.
He noted than an older man, who was also prosecuted, previously received a lengthy prison sentence. None of the other culprits have been brought before the courts.
The judge said the contents of a lengthy probation report were concerning as it appears the defendant blames others and has not accepted responsibility for his actions. He added that his continuing use of cannabis is also a concern.
However, Judge O’Donnell said Mr Bermingham’s admissions and his guilty plea were mitigating factors in the case as was his age at the time of the offence.
He said, therefore, he was willing to treat his a young person rather than as adult.
He imposed a three year prison sentence, suspending the final 18 months.