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Mum jailed for part in attack on homeless man where partner ‘danced on his head’

The attack took place on the man at the Four Courts
The attack took place on the man at the Four Courts

A young mother has been jailed for acting as a lookout and joining in on a savage, unprovoked attack in which a man "danced" on the head of an elderly homeless man.

Rachel Keogh (24) kicked the victim at least five times while her co-accused stamped on the man's head and chest more than ten times. She later told gardaí they only stopped the attack when they thought he was dead.

Keogh was jailed for one year today. Her then boyfriend was jailed for three years last April.

In April of 2014, Keogh of Casino Park, Marino, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Noel Quinn at Inn’s Quays on November 29, 2011.

Ms Keogh failed to appear for sentencing on July 1, 2014, and a bench warrant was issued. She was not arrested until July 2015 when she came to the attention of gardaí for other matters despite having lived at her known address throughout that period.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said there were “serious questions over the failure of someone to execute a warrant for over a year” in relation to a serious robbery.

Judge Ring said Mr Quinn was a “defenceless man who not trying to do anything but sleep”. She said he did not want to provide a victim impact statement and is no longer homeless.

At a previous hearing Garda Paul Cullen told Maurice Coffey BL that the victim was sleeping rough around midnight inside the pillars of the Four Courts building and was in his sleeping bag with his arms inside.

Keogh and her boyfriend walked by the victim and the male asked him for a cigarette before launching into the attack.

The victim later told gardaí: "He kept stamping on my face. He was dancing on my face and chest. I couldn't believe it".

During the assault Keogh looked up and down the street while the assault continued and joined in by kicking him. The attack stopped for a short time but the male attacker then came back to the victim and began punching and kicking the man again.

He took €45 from the victim, which was all the money he had, the court heard.

The attack was recorded on CCTV cameras and the pair were identified. Keogh told gardaí that the attack stopped because they believed the man was dead and they ran away.

She told gardaí that during the attack the victim was choking on his own blood and that blood was coming out of his mouth and nose.

Mr Coffey said that despite the savagery of the assault the victim sustained only minor injuries.

Kathleen Leader BL, defending, said the mother of one was under the influence of her co-accused, who has 168 previous convictions and a propensity for violence.

Keogh has 13 previous convictions, including theft, trespass and handling stolen property.

Asking Judge Ring to consider probation, Ms Leader said Keogh had only come to attention of the gardaí once since the attack for a relatively minor matter, and had been showing improvement before failing to appear for sentencing last year.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said Keogh had a history of not cooperating with probation services. Suspending the last year of a two year sentence, she ordered Keogh to cooperate with services and submit to urine analysis for 12 months after her release.

By Declan Conlon and Declan Brennan