Limerick Circuit Court
A BRAZILIAN national who placed a prostitute in a headlock during a robbery at her apartment in the city centre has avoided a prison sentence.
Iago Dionizio, aged 22, who has address in Charleville, County Cork and in Gort, County Galway pleaded guilty to robbing three mobile phones worth €1,000 and €300 in cash from from the woman on May 31, 2014.
During a sentencing hearing last year, Sergeant Vincent Brick said the injured party, who advertised as an escort and prostitute on the internet, received a call that night “looking for an appointment straight away”.
She later admitted one man – Mr X – to the apartment where a transaction, lasting around 20 minutes, took place.
The defendant remained in a common area outside and when the victim went to leave he grabbed her and threatened her.
The defendant told the victim he had a weapon and would injure her if she didn't co-operate.
Both men left the apartment, and the woman, who was “in a very distressed state”, made a report to the gardai. CCTV footage, which was described as being of very good quality, from the apartment complex was harvested by gardai.
The defendant was identified after he was connected to the phone which had been used to contact the victim on the night of the robbery.
On June 24, 2014, the accused was arrested at his place of work, and made full admissions to gardai during interviews,
During a review of the case, Anthony Sammon SC, said his client, who has no previous convictions, has raised €1,000 in compensation.
Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the contents of a probation report which indicated the defendant represents a low risk of re-offending.
He said the pre-meditated nature of the offence and the specific targeting of the prostitute were aggravating factors which he had to consider.
He said his admissions, guilty plea and his remorse were mitigating factors as was the fact that he has not come to the attention of gardai since.
The judge indicated he had initially considered imposing a prison sentence but that given the mitigating factors he was willing to give Mr Dionizio a chance.
He imposed a three year sentence which he suspended in its entirety for three years.