Suspended prison sentence for attempted robbery in Kilkenny

Mary Cody

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Mary Cody

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mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Suspended prison sentence for attempted robbery in Kilkenny

A defendant convicted of attempted robbery in Kilkenny city centre was handed down a three year prison sentence, which was suspended in its entirety at the last sitting of Kilkenny Circuit Court.
Brian Murphy, 186 Ballybeg Square, Ballybeg, Waterford pleaded to attempted robbery, theft and burglary at locations in Kilkenny City on March 6, 2019.
The court heard evidence that the defendant pleaded guilty to all the offences in May 2019.
Barrister, David Bulbulia, JC told the court that his client went to a treatment centre in August 2019 and stayed there until March when the pandemic hit and he returned to his home.
A probation report and a report from the treatment centre were handed into court. Mr Bulbulia told the court that there had been ‘some hiccups on the road to recovery’.
Attempted robbery
Detective Garda Liam Murphy gave evidence that the injured party in the attempted robbery was on the way to her daughter’s house and parked by Argos and planned to go to the ATM.
“The injured party went to the ATM at the Permanent TSB which was not working and then went to the Bank of Ireland machine at the junction of Parliament Street. When she went to put in her bank code she saw two men and left and went back towards the car. She picked up her pace as she was afraid of the males and when she looked back they were running after her.
“She got to the door and sat it and they got to the door. One male shouted at her to give him the money while the other male was watching,” the garda said.
Shaken
Detective Garda Murphy that the defendant put his hand on the injured party’s leg as he wrongly believed she had money on her lap.
“She managed to get the door closed and they ran in the direction of the Town Hall. She was very shaken and in fear of what they might do.
A witness saw the struggle between the injured party and the defendant.
On the same date at 9.10pm gardaí received a call to attend the Good Shepherd Hostel and spoke to the injured party who said that he had parked outside the Good Shepherd Centre. He said he returned ‘one minute later’ and his phone, an Iphone was gone.
The defendant, Brian Murphy was subsequently identified on CCTV. Staff at the Good Shepherd Centre told gardaí that a male had entered the building earlier and asked to used the phone. The phone number called was the partner of Brian Murphy.
The injured party also had the Find my Iphone app which located the phone in a hotel in Kilkenny. When gardaí attended at the hotel staff indicated that there was a male staying there that matched the description of the suspect.
When gardaí entered the hotel room they met the defendant and his partner and the iPhone and a purse with a TK Maxx tag on it. The court heard that the purse was taken during a theft at TK Maxx.
Detective Garda Murphy also told the court that at approximately 10pm a burglary took place at a city centre hotel when a side door was entered and a pedal cycle was taken. The defendant told gardaí that the bicycle was hidden in the grounds of another hotel.
The court heard that the defendant has 38 previous convictions including convictions for burglary, theft, attempted robbery, public order, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and assault. The court also heard that the defendant had been released from prison for approximately one week when these offences occurred.
impact
Victim impact statements were handed into court. A report was handed in from the owner of the iPhone which outlined how a family member had just died and that the theft of the phone was ‘hugely frustrating’. Another report from the owner of the bicycle outlined how he used it as his transport to and from work adding that the theft of the bicycle had caused him upset.
A victim impact statement on behalf of the injured party in the attempted robbery was also read out in court. The injured party stated that several months after the attempted robbery she has a clear recollection of the incident.
“I had no intention of withdrawing money. I just needed the reactivate the card,” she said adding that there were ‘repeated screams of give me your money’.
“He thought that I had dropped money on my lap and he grabbed me,” she said.
Profound impact
The injured party stated that the attempted robbery had ‘a profound impact’ on her and now her sleep is fitful and she has ‘involuntary flashbacks of the incident’ and looks over her shoulder when walking in public places.
Barrister, David Bulbulia, JC described it as ‘an opportunistic offence’.
Mr Bulbulia told the court that his client had written a letter of apology to all his victims and had co-operated with gardaí.
“He told gardaí that he was off his head on drink and drugs at the time and that he had a poor recollection of what happened’.
The defendant, Brian Murphy gave evidence in court and said that he is ‘deeply ashamed’ adding that ‘nobody has the right to do that to anyone’ in relation to his offences.
“I had no intention of hurting anyone, I was just mess up with drugs.”
Addiction
Mr Murphy told the court that he left prison in August 2019 to attend the Coolmine treatment centre.
“This is my chance to address my addictions. Otherwise I will be in and out of prison and will probably die from drink and drugs,” he said. “I have graduated from Coolmine and I have lifelong support from them,” he added.
Judge Cormac Quinn said that the defendant comes before the court with ‘a very serious record and has pleaded to some very serious crimes’.
“You managed to commit four quite serious offences all in the same day. You got bail in May 2019 and went to Coolmine in August, 2019 and have successfully completed the programme.
The judge remarked that during the attempted robbery the defendant ‘grabbed the door and grappled with it and tried to take money’.
“She didn’t have money and he touched her unintentionally,” he said.
The judge also stated that there were a number of aggravating factors in the case including the effect of the crimes on the injured parties and the fact that the defendant was only a week out of prison when he committed the offences.
“He presents as focused on his recovery. He did have some relapses but he did manage to complete the treatment programme,” he said.
The judge convicted the defendant of attempted robbery and imposed a three year prison sentence. He also imposed 12-month sentences in respect of the theft offences and an 18-month sentence in respect of the burglary offences and ordered that all the sentences run concurrently.
“In view of his rehabilitation I will suspend the sentences in their entirety for three years on the condition that you enter into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three years and remain under the supervision of the Probation Services for 18 months.