Man accused of assaulting two pensioners and stealing car denied bail

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The Malahide Road where the alleged assaults and robbery took place
The Malahide Road where the alleged assaults and robbery took place

A 24-year-old man accused of attacking and robbing an elderly stroke survivor outside his house in Clontarf in Dublin has been refused bail.

Dublin District Court heard the 78-year-old man was knocked to the ground, his car taken and he was nearly driven over while a second pensioner sustained a head-blow from an iron bar.

The incident occurred at about 12.30pm on Wednesday when the pensioner had his car stolen from outside his house on the Malahide Road. He and another elderly man were assaulted and taken to the Mater Hospital for treatment but were since been released.

Three and a half hours later investigating gardai, including armed officers from the Emergency Response Unit, located the car and searched a house at Dolmen Court, Ballymun, in north Dublin, where father-of-three 24-year-old Stephen Keenan was arrested.

Mr Keenan, whose address is at Dolmen Court, has been charged with two counts of assault causing harm to the two pensioners, robbery and theft of a silver Mercedes in connection with the incident.

Judge John King refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on December 15th.

Garda Jason Reilly of Clontarf station told Judge King that Mr Keenan “made no reply” when the charges were put to him. Directions from the DPP have to be obtained.

Objecting to bail Detective Garda Cliff Singleton said this was extremely serious robbery of a 78-year-old man "in broad daylight" who had recently survived a stroke. 

Det Gda Singleton said it was alleged the car owner was punched and knocked to the ground outside his house and his car keys were taken. The car, a Mercedes, was reversed out the driveway and “narrowly missed the injured party on the ground”.

An elderly bystander came to his aid but was also attacked with “an iron implement” resulting in him needing four stitches to his head and a MRI scan. A butt of a shotgun was also found at the scene, it was claimed.

The stolen car was found close to the defendant's home which was then raided by armed gardai. The court heard there was fingerprint evidence and clothes found at his home matched a description given to gardai.

Judge King heard Mr Keenan was in an agitated state when gardai came to his home, at which the defendant spoke up saying: “you would be too if you had gun pointed in your face”.

Defence solicitor Danny Nolan said his client is contesting the charges. Mr Keenan, who is suffering from depression, pleaded for bail and claimed he was being harassed by gardai. “I never harmed nobody in my life especially not two elderly men,” he said.

“I only had a new son, I just want to be there for Christmas, I'm a threat to no one.”

He told the court that when arrested “ my whole road was sealed off, men with guns in my house, I should not be seeing this at 24 years of age.” 

He said he was deeply depressed and “prison is the one place I should not be, I don't need that”. However bail was denied.