The Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
TWO serial offenders who attacked two men were identified and apprehended after an off-duty garda photographed them on his mobile phone, a court has heard.
Gerard Martin, aged 28, who has an address at Ballyclough, Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston and Gerard Curtin, aged 37, who has an address at Railway House, Old Cork Road, had each pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident at Mount Kennett, Dock Road, on August 23, 2017.
During a sentencing hearing before the summer vacation, Limerick Circuit Court was told there were two incidents which happened at around 11pm.
In the first incident, Gerard Curtin grabbed and held a friend of theirs while Gerard Martin searched his pockets.
Detective Garda Neil O’Gorman said nothing was found and that the defendants then targeted a second person a short time later.
On this occasion, he said, they escaped with around €90 in cash.
Both victims, he told the court, were threatened they would be stabbed and Judge Tom O’Donnell was told an off-duty gardai who came upon the incident took photos of the culprits on his phone before alerting colleagues.
While neither incident was captured on CCTV, Detective Garda O’Gorman said footage was obtained which placed Martin and Curtin in the general area around the time of the offences.
While the victims were not physically injured, John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said they were traumatised.
Neither, he added, had prepared a victim impact statement for the court.
Judge O’Donnell noted both defendants have previous convictions and that both have difficulties with alcohol and drugs.
In the case of Martin, he noted he was on bail in relation to another offence at the time and that his engagement with the Probation Service has not been satisfactory.
He accepted the admissions and guilty pleas were important as any trial could have been “extremely difficult to prosecute”.
The judge also accepted that both men have been making efforts in prison to address their addiction issues.
He imposed four year prison sentences in relation to each of the robbery charges, suspending the final 12 months.
In the case of Gerard Curtin the sentence was back-dated to last September.
He directed that Gerard Martin’s sentence be served consecutively to an 18 month prison sentence which was imposed in relation to a separate charge arising from a brawl at Mungret Street on October 18, 2016.
Judge O’Donnell directed that each of the defendants remain under the care, supervision and direction of the Probation Service for 12 months following their release from prison.