Convicted sex offender attacked woman, bit her and stole phone

Convicted sex offender attacked woman, bit her and stole phone

A convicted sex offender who attacked a woman on the street and stole her phone “for the thrill” has avoided jail time.

Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the woman, a Chinese national, on Granville Road, Cabinteely on March 21, 2016.

The victim was on her way home from a lecture in UCD when she noticed Ghariani following close behind her. He started to repeatedly ask to use her phone as he walked behind her.

The woman refused and he asked why. Ghariani then pushed her to the ground and tried to grab the phone. During the struggle he bit her finger in an attempt to get her to release the phone.

The woman screamed for help as Ghariani attempted to flee but a passer-by tackled and held him until gardaí arrived.

Ghariani has 34 previous convictions including one for sexual assault after he groped a woman from behind as she was taking money out of an ATM. He was registered as a sex offender for that offence.

His other convictions include indecency, burglary and theft. The court heard he was on bail for a similar offence at the time of this robbery.

Today, Ghariani’s defence barrister, Kim Moloney, BL, said her client became an involuntary patient at St John of God’s hospital in south Dublin on 3 April of this year, and has remained there as a voluntary patient since 20 April.

Ghariani has been taking his anti-psychotic medications, she told the court.

Ghariani’s probation officer, Michelle Richardson, told the court she and her colleagues considered him “high-risk” and said it was essential he continue to take his anti-psychotic medications.

Ms Richardson said Ghariani had been “non-compliant” with his medication in the past.

“We feel we have to adopt a high-risk approach,” said Ms Richardson, adding that the probation service would continue to meet with him for two years.

She said Ghariani had recently become homeless, and so she had liaised with local authorities who had agreed to provide him with accommodation.

Judge Melanie Greally imposed a four year sentence and, taking into account the time Ghariani has spent in custody on this matter, backdated the sentence to May 19, 2016. She suspended the balance of the sentence from today.

Judge Greally referred to the “disturbing nature” of the robbery, and said she was “mindful of the high risk he presents to the community”.

Judge Greally warned Ghariani that she would have “no hesitation” in reactivating the three-year sentence if he broke any of the conditions for his release.