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Crack cocaine addict robbed purse from tourist in revolving door

CourtsBy Sunday World
Mark Kenna
Mark Kenna

A man who robbed a purse from a Japanese tourist in the revolving door of a Dublin hotel has been given a suspended sentence.

Mark Kenna (32) was identified by gardai on CCTV footage of the incident. He told gardai when he was later arrested he could not remember the incident and had been “strung out” at the time.

Kenna, of Marmion Court, Blackhall Place, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Best Western Academy Plaza Hotel, Findlater Place, Dublin on February 2, 2015. He has 54 previous convictions but none for any crimes of violence.

Judge Melanie Greally said the offence was “nasty and frightening” but noted Kenna was in the throes of a crack cocaine habit and had also taken tablets on the day.

She said she was impressed by the favourable probation report before the court which indicated insight and remorse for his actions. She noted he had taken steps to address his drug addiction.

Judge Greally imposed a three year sentence which she suspended in full on strict conditions including 12 months probation supervision and one to one counselling regarding his drug addiction.

Garda Tracey O'Reilly told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that Kenna had approached the tourist who was smoking outside the hotel a couple of times looking for a cigarette. She went to return inside but Kenna followed her into the revolving door, blocking it with his leg.

She called for help but Kenna managed to take her purse and run off. He did not produce any weapons during the robbery or make any threats. She was assisted afterwards by hotel staff.

Gda O'Reilly agreed with Rebecca Smith BL, defending, that Kenna could not remember the incident. He told gardai when arrested in June 2015 that he could not remember yesterday never mind what happened a few months ago.

Ms Smith said Kenna came from a large and law abiding family but he had become involved in petty crime at a young age. He spent a significant portion of his life to date in and out of custody as well as spending time homeless.

He became addicted to heroin in custody and then took what he could get when on the streets.

Ms Smith said he had been on a detoxification program in custody. She outlined difficulties he had with his health including nearly having to have his arm amputated due to a batch of bad heroin.

By Fiona Ferguson